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A (re)discovery of Beverley Rosen Simons : Preparing for production Lockitch, Amanda Ruth 2005

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A ( R E ) D I S C O V E R Y O F B E V E R L E Y R O S E N S I M O N S : P R E P A R I N G F O R P R O D U C T I O N by A M A N D A R U T H L O C K I T C H B . A . , The Un ive r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , 2003 A T H E S I S S U B M I T T E D I N P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T O F T H E R E Q U I R E M E N T S F O R T H E D E G R E E O F M A S T E R O F A R T S i n T H E F A C U L T Y O F G R A D U A T E S T U D I E S ( T H E A T R E ) T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A A p r i l 2005 © A m a n d a R u t h L o c k i t c h , 2005 A B S T R A C T The plays o f Beve r l ey R o s e n S imons , wri t ten over the past thirty years, have had a contentious and underpr ivi leged relationship w i t h Canada 's professional theatre companies . H e r most famous work , Crabdance, was, however , inc luded i n a 2001 anthology o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a n plays, b r ing ing S i m o n s ' text into the contemporary landscape o f Canad ian drama. A l t h o u g h the anthology printed her most w e l l - k n o w n p lay , it was wri t ten i n 1969. Today , she has many scripts that are ready, and have been ready, to be brought to the stage, but they remain unproduced. In 1994, the late U r j o Kareda , Ar t i s t i c Di rec tor o f the Tarragon Theatre, ci ted a specific reason as to w h y he was unable to support a product ion o f S i m o n s ' latest play, now you see it.... The charge l ev i ed against the text is that S imons ' "technique o f simultaneous scenes.. . exists on ly i n her o w n imagina t ion . . .p lac ing i ron clamps around the creativity o f both the actors and the director," and thus this p lay is v i r tua l ly imposs ib le to produce. The purpose o f this thesis is to offer a rediscovery o f S i m o n s ' work , p l ac ing her i n the context o f Canad ian theatre history and p rov id ing a b r i e f background o n some o f her earlier texts. I then provide a comprehensive dramaturgical analysis o f her newest unproduced and unpubl ished play, now you see it.... S ince I a m preparing this p lay for product ion , I w i l l speci f ica l ly examine the charge l a id by Kareda . H e was a c h a m p i o n o f new Canad ian w o r k and a major theatrical force i n Canada before his years at Tar ragon and beyond. Th i s analysis is specif ical ly geared towards the quest ion o f whether or not S i m o n s ' chal lenging dramaturgy, i n terms o f content and form, is t ruly too di f f icul t to produce. I l l Through a detailed dramaturgical analysis o f the text i nc lud ing characters, setting and synopsis , an examinat ion o f thematic devices that S imons employs , and a d i scuss ion o f the staging issues that arose i n a pre-production workshop o f the text, I hope to i l lumina te some o f the complexi t ies surrounding the product ion o f this play. i v T A B L E OF C O N T E N T S Abstrac t i i Table o f Conten ts . . . . i v Acknowledgemen t s v C H A P T E R I Introduction 1 C H A P T E R II H i s to ry and B a c k g r o u n d 9 C H A P T E R III Deta i led A n a l y s i s o f now you see it 35 C H A P T E R I V C o n c l u s i o n 71 W o r k s C i t e d and Consu l ted 73 A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S I w o u l d l i ke to thank Beve r l ey Rosen S imons for the weal th o f chal lenging plays she has wri t ten, for w e l c o m i n g m y questions and curiosi ty about her work , and for a l l o w i n g me to read and prepare for product ion her script, now you see it.... I w o u l d also l i ke to thank Robert Gardiner and the faculty and staff o f the Department o f Theatre at the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a for their thoughtful support and encouragement. Jerry Wasserman, E r r o l Durbach and E r i n H u r l e y , i n particular, have inspired and nurtured m y cr i t ica l cur iosi ty dur ing both m y undergraduate and graduate career at U B C . Th i s thesis is dedicated to m y mother, G i l l i a n L o c k i t c h , for her unwaver ing support, and to m y late father, Robert , who had the be l i e f and foresight that I w o u l d a c c o m p l i s h this goal even before it had occurred to me to try. I. I N T R O D U C T I O N (Re)Discovering Simons " A s soon as I seen [her] I k n e w what [she] was" (S imons , The Theft 1) I first encountered the w o r k o f Beve r l ey Rosen S imons by chance. W h e n her name and the p lay title, Crabdance, came up i n conversation, I k n e w that I had seen them before. I rediscovered her text i n m y copy o f P l a y i n g the Pac i f i c P rov ince : A n A n t h o l o g y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a P lays , 1967 - 2000, edited by G i n n y Ratsoy and James Hof fman . I found Crabdance dis turbing and frightening, and in i t i a l ly , I d i d not understand it at a l l . H o w e v e r , I was intr igued by the introductory essay o n S imons p rov ided by Hof fman . H o f f m a n posi t ions S imons as an underrated, pos t -colonia l , feminist author, whose w o r k is in t r ins ica l ly l i nked to B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a . Ratsoy and Hof fman contend that through their anthology they are "canon-making" ; speci f ica l ly inc lud ing writers that "have been instrumental i n their impact o n B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a theatre" (iii). S i m o n s ' i nc lu s ion i n this anthology gives credence to the assertion that she is a p laywr ight o f value and that her works are "ve ry powerfu l and effective dramatizat ionfs]" (50). Y e t , aside f rom that one chance conversat ion, I had never heard o f her outside o f the context o f this anthology. Hof fman ' s essay led me to the Win te r 1976 vo lume o f Canadian Theatre R e v i e w ( C T R ) , w h i c h was the first issue o f C T R ever devoted to a single p laywright . That wri ter was S imons . In the journa l , essays about S imons are wri t ten by some o f Canada ' s most recognized theatre practitioners o f that t ime inc lud ing D o n R u b i n , M a l c o l m B l a c k and Peter H a y . The essays act as a combina t ion o f assistance, t ry ing to rectify the under-1 acknowledgement o f her talent, and jus t i f ica t ion o f w h y her plays ought to be produced. T h i s v o l u m e also includes publ ica t ion o f her most recent w o r k at the t ime, Leela Means To Play. A g a i n , I found her text disturbing, frightening and so intel lectual ly and theatr ical ly s t imulat ing that I cou ld not grasp the entirety o f the p lay i n one reading. The passionate support o f S imons i n C T R increased m y interest i n this seemingly forgotten p laywright , and I began to think that she w o u l d make an excellent subject for m y thesis. I f the author was so important to Canadian drama, as professed by C T R , w h y were her p lays rarely, i f ever, produced b y our mainstream theatre companies? W h y were her texts not being taught i n univers i ty theatre classes a long w i t h George R y g a , John Herbert and Rober tson Dav ies? H a d the "myth ica l excuse that [.. .Crabdance'] is too diff icul t to produce" ( H a y 7) d imin ished the p lay i n the eyes o f potential readers or producers? I d iscovered a copy o f her anthology o f short plays, Preparing, at m y l o c a l second-hand bookstore. W h i l e these five one-act plays are less dis turbing and easier to grasp than the two fu l l length plays I had already read, her intellect and unique theatrical style are s t i l l exp l ic i t i n them. M y immediate response to these innovat ive and entertaining short plays was a desire to direct, produce or act i n them. I began a search for any secondary resources related to S imons and at the same t ime, I t r ied to f ind the p laywr igh t herself. W h i l e I was d ismayed to discover that secondary sources concerning S imons and her w o r k are l imi ted , I was exci ted to learn that the p laywr igh t s t i l l resides and works i n Vancouver . In the hope o f meet ing this seemingly reclus ive p laywright , I asked Ta lonbooks to forward m y curriculum vitae to S imons . She 2 agreed to meet w i t h me. I reread both Crabdance and Leela Means To Play i n an attempt to see i f I c o u l d formulate an idea for m y thesis, but w h e n S imons gave me a copy o f her latest p lay , now you see it..., I k n e w that I had def in i t ive ly found m y thesis subject. A g r e e i n g to be the subject o f m y thesis, S imons a l l owed me access to many o f her unpubl ished works i nc lud ing radio plays , stage plays, f i l m scripts and short stories, as w e l l as personal correspondence regarding her plays . S imons has a l l but w i thd rawn f rom the w o r l d o f theatre. Disappoin ted by the lack o f cr i t ica l attention and professional product ions o f her work , and gun-shy over many unful f i l led promises, S imons appears to be par t icular ly, and understandably, sensitive about w h o is g iven the product ion rights for her plays . She came to wa tch me portray the role o f L u c y i n a performance o f a dark and dis turbing n e w p lay by emerging author C . E . Gatchal ian . H i s p lay , Crossing, is as cha l lenging as the w o r k o f S imons i n terms o f its strict adherence to a specif ic rhy thmic structure, and i n its demand for performers who are w i l l i n g to expose the most h idden and vulnerable aspects o f themselves. She appreciated the fact that I can feel and interpret a p l ay ' s intr insic rhythm, and that rather than fleeing f rom frightening mater ial , I gravitate towards it. Af ter watch ing this play, S imons agreed to let me direct now you see it.... This thesis, then, has two major purposes. The first is to offer a rediscovery o f S i m o n s ' w o r k and to quest ion w h y a p laywr ight o f such promise chose to wi thdraw f rom the theatre. The second is to provide a comprehensive dramaturgical analysis o f her newest unproduced and unpubl ished play, now you see it..., as I prepare it for product ion , i n the 3 hopes o f garnering attention and appreciation for this chal lenging and dynamic script. A s I see it, the major difference between a dramaturgical analysis and a pure ly academic approach to this thesis is that a dramaturge speci f ica l ly works towards putt ing p lays o n the stage. A sound argument is the means and the end o f academic inqui ry , an approach w h i c h usua l ly ends o n the page. E v e n theatre academics do not often test their theories o n the stage, w h i l e the intention o f a dramaturge is to make sure that plays are ready for product ion. In other words , what sets m y thesis apart is that it does not end w i t h the intel lectual invest igat ion o f this new play. Instead, I a m readying it for its theatrical premiere. W h y S i m o n s ? " A n d we suffer.. .The sins o f our author.. .Her obsessions. . .Dare w e say, her fetishes?" (S imons , Prologue 17-18). Those w h o love the w o r k o f Beve r l ey Rosen S imons love it w i t h a passion. Those w h o d i s l ike it do so, i n part, because it "challenges the status quo o f Western ph i losophy , o f Western soc ia l organizat ion and o f Western dramatic structure" (Raby 1). There is a pauci ty o f c r i t i ca l mater ial wri t ten about S imons and her work . Y e t , those few cr i t i ca l articles s trongly articulate the be l i e f that a p laywr ight o f great s k i l l and re levancy is be ing over looked . Today , S imons concentrates o n her prose f ic t ion, hav ing funct ional ly w i thd rawn f rom the w o r l d o f theatre. In fact, most o f her plays , and the c r i t i ca l evaluations o f them, were wri t ten w e l l before 1990. T h i s demonstrates the fact that S i m o n s ' theatrical works have p r imar i ly "retreated into o b l i v i o n " (Raby 1). H e r dramatic 4 texts, i nc lud ing Crabdance, the most famous and cr i t i ca l ly successful o f her p lays , have had neither significant analyt ical attention nor the product ion histories they deserve. H e r w o r k is chal lenging and uncompromis ing , de lv ing into issues o f just ice and mora l i ty , percept ion and belief, socia l consciousness and private torment. The questions raised w i t h i n her dramas are as complex and multifaceted as the characters that embody them. A s I found, her w o r k is not an easy read. It takes effort to understand and appreciate the s y m b o l i c and theatrical characters she creates. S imons does not offer easy answers. Th rough her i ron ic and b i t ing wi t , her keen, insightful intel l igence, and her penetrating honesty, she asks us to engage w i t h the societal issues at hand, not necessari ly to solve them. F o r S imons , w o r k i n g towards answers occurs after one has left the theatre, though she does supply the tools and the incentive to change. The first th ing that drew me to S imons was her evident mastery o f craft. F r o m her earliest wr i t i ng it is easy to see that S imons understands her med ium. W i t h the except ion o f Crusader, a h igh ly s ty l ized drama employ ing South A s i a n and Japanese convent ions, and Prologue, a Brech t i an po l i t i ca l ly -minded diatribe, S i m o n s ' plays essential ly fa l l w i t h i n the conventions o f rea l ism. However , because she draws f rom a m i x o f so many theatrical conventions, her plays often blur the boundaries o f realist ic drama. W h i l e the act ing style remains ' r e a l ' , the use o f the stage is far f rom Ibsenian. The funct ion the plays fu l f i l l is that o f i l lumina t ing humanity. W e see ourselves i n her characters, f rom the most s ty l ized representation to the most realistic. S imons understands h o w to c o m m a n d the stage and i n her plays y o u can see her re l i sh ing that command . One o f her k n o w n and recorded traits as an author is to create shocking twist endings that v i sce ra l ly 5 wrench m i n d and soul . In her 1982 Mas te r ' s thesis, Canad ian theatre practi t ioner and theorist G y l l i a n R a b y explains that because S imons ends her plays w i t h a "sudden reversal or [...] a twist i n perception [.. .it] disconcerts the audience as the curtain fal ls . [...] A s a dramatic strategy, the technique is h igh ly effective,, and leaves an audience breathless" (37). Th rough this v iscera l disruption, S imons connects w i t h the v i ewer i n unexpected ways . She k n o w s h o w to take her audience on a journey, but she leads them where they least expect to go. R o t a Herzberg Lis ter , i n " B e v e r l e y S imons and the Influence o f Or ienta l Theatre," believes that S imons is a p laywr ight w h o "deserves our attention" (225). The fact that her plays are in t r ins ica l ly 'west coast ' , a l though she is not even produced i n her home town o f Vancouver , makes her even more deserving o f cr i t ica l attention at the univers i ty l eve l . S i m o n s ' w o r k is in t imidat ing i n its scope o f theme and presentation. In i t ia l ly , I had great d i f f icul ty understanding her texts. Y e t , I cou ld feel that her w o r k offered more than I comprehended, so I persisted w i t h them. H e r plays are painful i n their i l l umina t i on o f humani ty ' s innermost secrets and fears. N o wonder "many theatre people [believe] that her w o r k is not safe to produce. The humor w h i c h mitigates the sharp, uncomfortable v i s i o n o f her plays is frequently over looked b y directors and cri t ics a l i k e " (Raby 6). A k i n to an absurdist aesthetic, i n S i m o n s ' plays despair can o v e r w h e l m the text for an unsk i l l ed reader. H o w e v e r , a l igned again w i t h absurdism, her p lays are fu l l o f humor . It m a y be satir ical and dark ly i ronic , but it is humor. H e r characters m a y not d iscover h o w to change, but they real ize that they must. I f they do not reach this epiphany, S imons anticipates that the audience w i l l . Through the p l ay ing and unexpectedly v io lent r i pp ing 6 away o f the soc ia l mask, S imons disarticulates socia l conformity. In showing humani ty as both masked and unmasked constructions, S imons exposes the fundamental absurd truth that i so la t ion is the pr imary shared human condi t ion . Th rough her dep ic t ion o f a m y r i a d o f socia l roles, we begin to understand h o w we mask ourselves. Often her characters are unsure w h o they are without the mask o f conformity. T h o u g h they strive for unadulterated, honest experience, through their da i ly trials we see that subjective truth can never be shared. One human can never t ruly k n o w another. W e barely k n o w ourselves. Methodology " A n d the earth was wi thout form, and v o i d ; and darkness was upon the face o f the deep. [...] A n d the spirit o f G o d m o v e d upon the face o f the waters. [...] A n d G o d s a i d . . . L e t there be l igh t" (S imons , n o w y o u see i t . . . 6) T h i s thesis investigates the most recent stage p lay by Beve r l ey R o s e n S imons , now you see it..., through a dramaturgical and directorial lens. A dramaturge must be academic i n approach. A t the very least, s/he must have a thirst for research and discovery , ah ab i l i ty to organize and articulate the ideas o f others, and a desire to ensure that theatre remains a v i t a l and accessible p la t form for social interaction and exchange. A director makes c r i t i ca l judgments about characterizations, themes and meanings that then become concret ized o n the stage. Perhaps unconsciously , a director po l i t i c izes and personalizes any script s/he directs because, i n te l l ing the story, one must choose what is important to one 's o w n specif ic i l l umina t ion o f the text. W i t h m y background i n act ing, d i rect ing and 7 dramaturgy to guide m y academic invest igat ion, the goal o f this c r i t ica l analysis is to examine both the unique dramaturgy and the complex thematic story o f now you see it... as I prepare this chal lenging script for product ion. In m y analysis , I w i l l br ief ly rev iew some o f the cr i t ica l evaluations S i m o n s ' w r i t i n g has engendered thus far, and therefore contextualize her w o r k i n the rea lm o f Canad ian theatre history. T h e n I w i l l i l luminate specific dramaturgical and thematic elements prevalent i n now you see it.... T o this end, I have p rov ided a dramaturgical report, s imi la r to the feedback I g ive to writers who submit their scripts to the P laywr igh ts Theatre Centre, V a n c o u v e r ' s p r imary centre for new p lay development. T h i s report includes a detailed plot synopsis and any questions and / or suggestions that m a y arise f rom m y reading. F i n a l l y , as I a m i n preparation for b r ing ing this p lay to the stage as a director, I w i l l examine the problems and questions that arose f rom a script workshop , arranged b y m y produc t ion company, Meta . for Theatre Society. Since the biggest challenge i n this p lay is a split-stage dramaturgy, w i t h two scenes occurr ing s imultaneously, our objective for the workshop was to hear the script out loud i n order to comprehend the complex i ty o f rhy thm and structure. Our major question was whether or not the dialogue can funct ion i n the w a y that S imons intends. 8 II. HISTORY AND BACKGROUND In the Beginning... " O h John H i r s c h . . . O h , Canada C o u n c i l . . . W e i n the land o f the Lotus Eaters have lost our d r ive . . .Our spunk. . .Our sense o f purpose" (S imons , Pro logue 17) T o m o v e forward i n context, we must first l ook back. The object o f this thesis is not to provide a b iography o f S imons and her early work . Th i s was already done comprehens ive ly by G y l l i a n R a b y i n 1982 i n her Mas te r ' s thesis entit led B e v e r l e y S imons : A C r i t i c a l Eva lua t ion . I a m more interested i n the fact that i n the in tervening twenty-three years between R a b y ' s thesis and m y o w n , S imons has not become the c r i t i ca l ly successful Canad ian p laywr ight she was perceived as, and promoted to be, i n her past. Ber t ram Joseph, as quoted by M a l c o l m B l a c k , declares i n 1969 that " [ i ] f y o u don ' t k n o w [Simons ' ] name now, y o u w i l l before long , and so w i l l the w h o l e w o r l d o f theatre" ( B l a c k 12). So what happened? A s I ment ioned earlier, i n the winter o f 1976, the Canad ian Theatre R e v i e w dedicated one o f its issues to the study o f a s ingle p laywr igh t (S imons) for the first t ime. T h e y also provided a fu l l reproduct ion o f her text Leela Means To Play, w h i c h was the focal point o f R a b y ' s thesis. Despi te hav ing a professional workshop and reading at the Eugene O ' N e i l l Theatre i n Connect icut , Leela has yet to f ind professional product ion. Th rough the few cr i t ica l sources that exist about S imons , I w i l l br ief ly situate her struggle towards product ion i n the context o f Canad ian theatre. 9 W h e n D o n R u b i n , Peter H a y , M a l c o l m B l a c k , M i c h a e l S idne l l and John Ju l i an i wrote the first ever "casebook" for the Canadian Theatre R e v i e w ( C T R ) i n 1976, they were already t ry ing to prevent the w o r k o f Beve r l ey S imons f rom becoming a forgotten footnote i n the annals o f Canad ian theatre history. Despite the fact that S imons was at the height o f her p u b l i c l y lauded p l aywr i t i ng career, the editors and contributors o f this journa l already acknowledged that she was "Canada ' s most ignored, important wr i ter" (Rub in , A S i m o n s ' Casebook 4). Fee l ing passionately that her "dramatic w o r k demands to be taken ser iously and, even more, deserves to be taken ser ious ly" (4), this group o f artistic directors, academics and cri t ics strove to place S imons i n the consciousness o f a theatrical scene w h i c h produced "lesser and less-difficult writers [...] season after season" (4) w h i l e S imons remained (and remains) "bas ica l ly unproduced by Canada ' s professional theatre companies" (4). In the hopes o f rect i fying this gross injustice, the C T R casebook inc luded publ ica t ion o f her script Leela Means To Play, w h i l e acknowledg ing that "[fjhose who found Crabdance d i f f icul t to come to grips w i t h w i l l p robably f ind Leela v i r tua l ly imposs ib le" (4). A l t h o u g h it has found cr i t i ca l attention as text, this p lay s t i l l awaits its first fu l l product ion. In 1982, as a graduate student at the Un ive r s i t y o f Calgary , G y l l i a n R a b y wrote B e v e r l e y S imons : A C r i t i c a l Eva lua t ion . H e r thesis offers a " thorough cr i t ica l appreciat ion o f S i m o n s ' p lays [that had] been l a c k i n g " (Raby 1). W h i l e the C T R casebook posi t ions S imons as an over looked talent, R a b y succeeds i n her goal o f rect i fy ing this neglect b y p rov id ing a comprehensive "biographica l and b ib l iog raph ica l " analysis o f a l l o f S i m o n s ' plays up to and inc lud ing Leela Means To Play. Wr i t t en through a feminist f ramework o f 10 analysis, R a b y ' s thesis also questions "the reasons behind the extraordinary and sporadic stage his tor ies" (2) o f S i m o n s ' plays and concludes that S i m o n s ' p lays "are neglected b y theatre cr i t ics and practitioners i n Canada because they extend beyond the d o m a i n o f t radi t ional c r i t i c i sm and c o m m o n commerc ia l pract ice" (Abstract) . In the twenty-three years since R a b y ' s thesis, very little c r i t ica l w o r k has been wri t ten about S imons and, other than Crabdance and selected shorter works , her stage p lays have s t i l l not found professional avenues o f product ion. S imons is a p ro l i f i c wri ter w h o has "wri t ten enough plays to f i l l four or five evenings o f theatre as w e l l as three ful l - length or ig ina l screenplays, [and] uncounted numbers o f stories and te lev is ion p l ays " ( H a y 7). S imons is once again armed w i t h an intell igent though chal lenging new script i n now you see it.... H o w e v e r , she continues to struggle to have her w o r k produced b y the major Canad ian companies. T i m e and again S imons has been to ld that her textual and thematic dramaturgy is too diff icul t to produce. W h i l e I bel ieve this to be patently incorrect , her w o r k does make people think; it is not easy. One must indeed grapple w i t h both her dramatic structure and her dis turbingly r aw themes. However , i f theatre is about thought and transformation, her scripts ho ld the power to induce both. There is no quest ion that S imons ' w o r k is chal lenging both thematical ly and dramaturgical ly . The question is w h y this induces producers to turn d o w n the opportunity to w o r k o n her plays rather than br ing them to the stage. H e r uny ie ld ing , fr ightening i l l umina t ion o f truth and her painful honesty are perhaps clues as to w h y people prefer not to p roduce her work . Theatre has many innate challenges f rom 11 obtaining funding to attracting an audience. F o r many producers, the idea o f starting w i t h a p l ay that is already deemed "too d i f f icu l t" (Hay 7) is l ike go ing into a theatrical venture k n o w i n g for certain that there is no money to be made. Y e t , I cannot help but th ink that i n their d i smissa l o f her work , these producers over look her humor and poignancy. The further I got into researching S i m o n s ' career, the more intr igued I became by the paradoxica l a cc l a im o f Crabdance compared w i t h the l imi t ed and / or non-existent product ions o f her later work . W h i l e John Ju l ian i and others were c lear ly proponents o f her work , p roduc ing and direct ing many o f her shorter p lays , her two most cha l lenging and thought p r o v o k i n g ful l - length plays, Leela Means To Play and now you see it..., have yet to be mounted i n product ion. A l t h o u g h her w o r k is extremely complex , relevant and dynamic , it seems she has indeed become the lost footnote i n the landscape o f Canad ian drama, w h i c h the C T R tr ied to prevent a l l those years ago. I Remember Beverley...Or, Who is Beverley Rosen Simons? "Eve ryone k n o w s . . . a p lay a year or the p laywr ight disappears. . . S i n k s . . . Out o f s igh t . . .Out o f m i n d . . . T h e pub l ic consciousness . . . So she doesn' t exist? O n l y a shadow. . . " (S imons , Prologue 15) The w o r k o f B e v e r l e y R o s e n S imons exhilarates and terrifies i n the same breath. The exhi lara t ion extends f rom her expl ic i t understanding o f the craft o f authorship. She is p ro l i f i c i n her creative wr i t i ng as evidenced by many manuscripts i nc lud ing short stories, radio plays , f i l m scripts and p lay texts. Y e t , for the most part, these texts are unavai lable to the average reader as they have not been g iven publ ica t ion . H e r w o r k is an 12 ove rwhe lming exposure o f the human condi t ion. The intel l igence and humor o f her w r i t i n g is b i t ing and blunt. One need not w a l k on eggshells around S imons nor her work . She writes w i t h the prec is ion o f a surgeon, offering i rony or desperation depending o n w h i c h w a y her pen cuts any g iven moment. A s m y analysis w i l l show, her characters are m o l d e d and manipulated as precisely as her dramaturgy. In other words , the story she tells is every bi t as clever as the means through w h i c h she tells it. The depth o f her w o r k comes f rom her obvious intel l igence, her po l i t i ca l and socia l representation, her fearlessness i n s torytel l ing and stagecraft i nc lud ing the usage o f diverse theatrical techniques. One can read the influence o f Brecht , A s i a n and Absurd i s t forms o f drama f rom her earliest p lays , l ike Prologue, Crusader, Crabdance, to her latest, now you see it..., the subject o f this thesis. S i m o n s ' w o r k is often ca l led terr ifying because it speaks the truth. L i k e the aburdist genre, her plays invoke the tragedy o f be ing human. H e r content is deeply personal whether touching on socia l issues l ike incest, murder and adultery, or the private issues o f i so la t ion , dependency and betrayal. Whether immedia te ly loved or v io l en t ly opposed, the w o r k o f S imons is never without reaction. Crabdance had its Canad ian premiere at the V a n c o u v e r Playhouse i n 1972, and M a l c o l m B l a c k cites V a n c o u v e r S u n cr i t ic Chr is topher Dafoe as stating that "[a] number o f people have expressed d i smay and consternation over Beve r l ey S i m o n s ' p l ay Crabdance, currently sending them around the bend at the Playhouse . Crabdance, as y o u can see, hits hard and leaves a ho l e " ( B l a c k 14). M a n y f ind her w o r k daunting because it is never a qu ick and trouble-free read. S imons provides no s imple answers. The issues she raises are compl ica ted and not eas i ly 13 resolved. The audience, i n other words , is never let o f f the hook. H e r w o r k is demanding. It takes t ime and effort to understand her complex and var ied thematic structures. T o t ruly real ize the depth o f craft and theme, her w o r k must be thoroughly mined . The di f f icul ty o f S i m o n s ' drama does not fa l l w i t h i n the domain o f the text, but rather i n the di rec t ion o f it. I f one does not have an innate feel for her rhythms, a respect for her craftsmanship or an abi l i ty to expose oneself through the texts, her w o r k w i l l p rove as compl ica ted and as inarticulate as the naysayers suggest. The quest ion remains: I f S imons continues to write plays l ike now you see it..., chal lenging, creative and relevant to the contemporary dramatic landscape, w h y has she been shunted into the obscuri ty o f Canadian theatre history? W h y do the artistic directors o f our professional theatres not acknowledge the relevancy o f her w o r k ? W h y was her w o r k so rarely produced i n the past? A n d can we change this before she is unable or u n w i l l i n g to continue her dramatic w o r k ? M a n y w o u l d say her case is not unique. In "1971 , a dozen theatre professionals concerned about the development o f Canadian p laywr i t ing and p laywrights met" i n order to fight what they perceived as the grave "abnormal i ty o f the situation i n w h i c h [the Canad ian p laywright ] w o r k s " (Rub in , Canadian Theatre H i s to ry 302). Instead o f be ing "p r i zed and va lued members o f the creative c o m m u n i t y " (302), n e w Canad ian plays were, i n effect, l ocked out o f product ion f rom the major theatres w h i l e p laywr ights struggled to earn a v iable wage. D o n R u b i n states that this diverse group, convened under the auspices o f the Canada C o u n c i l , set out to debate "methods o f support" (302). 14 T h e y "examined the w o r k i n g condit ions o f the [Canadian] p laywright , l ooked at his economic prospects, discussed practical ways to enhance his professional status and improve his economic lot, and sought ways to enable h i m to take his proper place i n the theatre and i n the cul tural l i fe o f Canada" (302). Wha t emerged as the Gaspe Mani fes to were the conclus ions and eight recommendations o f these p laywrights , producers and academics, i nc lud ing the encouragement o f governmental ly mandated Canad ian content and more stabil i ty for artists to pursue their craft fu l l t ime. I ronical ly , that t ime i n the his tory o f Canad ian theatre is looked back upon fondly as the t ime o f government subsidies for professional theatres, increased theatre facil i t ies, and the beginnings o f an alternative theatre scene through w h i c h we "search for a national cul tural ident i ty" (Brocket t 567). S imons comes f rom a generation o f Canadian playwrights l ike " John Herbert , Rober t son Dav ie s , George R y g a , M i c h a e l C o o k , T o m Hendry , James Reaney, [and] C a r o l B o l t , " a few o f w h o m were i n v o l v e d w i t h the aforementioned manifesto and w h o "are [.. . rarely or s imply] not p roduced" today (Hay 7). W h i l e many o f these authors have become canonized through Canad ian theatre anthologies, and are c r i t i ca l ly studied i n a univers i ty c lassroom, they are largely over looked and forgotten o n our professional stages. U n l i k e the A m e r i c a n and B r i t i s h stages, Canada does not often reprise its past. O u r professional theatres do not have a history o f reproducing the plays that make up the Canad ian canon. In fact, the one major except ion where we can f ind Canad ian "c lass ics" presented o n contemporary stages is i n our universit ies. O u r professional stages instead opt to reproduce the A m e r i c a n and B r i t i s h greats l ike W i l l i a m s and Shakespeare, offer the latest 15 i n A m e r i c a n and B r i t i s h contemporary drama or, to a m u c h lesser degree, the newest o f Canad ian works . The vaunted list o f p laywrights above, the vanguard o f the watershed years i n Canad ian drama, were not on ly under-produced i n their o w n t ime, but have li t t le hope o f m a k i n g it to the stage today. In this phenomenon S imons is not unique. The p laywr ights that changed the face o f Canad ian drama have today ended up i n univers i ty cur r icu la ( i f they are lucky) , not o n the stage. Howeve r , o f this list , most o f w h o m are n o w deceased, o n l y S imons remains at work . Shou ld the condi t ion o f her be ing unpubl ished and unproduced not be rectified? I f not now, when? Interestingly, this year Stratford is p roduc ing The Donnellys: Sticks and Stones by James Reaney. The Fes t iva l describes the p lay as a "groundbreaking c lass ic" (Stratford 2005 V i s i t o r s ' G u i d e 25). Y e t , I th ink it is germane to note that this classic is being presented i n the studio space at Stratford and not i n one o f their larger venues. The pub l i sh ing o f Canad ian drama also provides a d i l e m m a for the struggling p laywr igh t . P lays w i l l not be publ i shed without professional product ion. It therefore becomes even more v i t a l to help br ing S i m o n s ' new w o r k now you see it. ..to the stage. It must be publ i shed before it stops being "contemporary," and it must be produced i n order to be publ ished. W i t h its unique dramaturgy and expl ic i t examinat ion o f relevant and controversia l themes, l ike Crabdance, her most famous w o r k to date, this p lay c o u l d conce ivab ly f ind a niche i n academic curr icula . The purpose o f this thesis is to i l luminate now you see it... i n order to prove that she is as v i t a l to contemporary Canad ian drama as her past cr i t ica l success has suggested. H e r 16 p lay now you see it. over looked . awaits its first product ion. W e must not let this p lay continue to be Simons' Theatrical and Dramaturgical History "[T]he p l ay ing areas cou ld be defined very s i m p l y by props" (S imons , n o w y o u see i t . . . 3) S i m o n s ' texts are t ight ly constructed, epic i n scope and theme and, I bel ieve, are relevant to contemporary audiences. It m a y be argued that i f the producers o f our professional theatres do not see the relevancy i n S imons ' work , then it s imp ly must not exist. I disagree. S imons " is not w o r k i n g w i t h i n tradit ional dramatic standards. [Instead, she works] i n a synthetic fo rm, an amalgam o f east and west, dance and drama, technology and wonder and her abi l i ty to synthesize these disparate elements makes her a dramatist o f major propor t ions" (Rub in , A S i m o n s ' Casebook 5). It is this combina t ion o f her craftsmanship and her ar t iculat ion o f intelligent, meaningful , thought p r o v o k i n g themes that resonates o n a deeply human leve l . A dynamic understanding o f theatrical conventions and o f theatricality is c lear ly present i n one o f S i m o n s ' early plays , Prologue. A s D o n R u b i n points out, "[o]ne m a y not become [...] enamored o f M s . S i m o n ' w o r k [.. . i n the reading o f it,] but one w i l l at least be recogn iz ing that she is [...] i n fu l l control each step o f the w a y " (5). In this piece, three apologetic, sympathetic characters are P i rande l l i an i n their search o f an audience: 17 M A N : A s k i n g an audience to come and wa tch . . . S E C O N D W O M A N : A n d l i s ten . . . F I R S T W O M A N : T o us. W h y not? W e ' r e ghosts. It 's not often they ' re able to examine ghosts. M A N : It 's true, to audience W h e n y o u leave, w e dissolve. W e exis t as a product o f your attention. F I R S T W O M A N : A n d the author's. M A N : Wha t about her? F I R S T W O M A N : She wrote the l ines. [...] I wou ldn ' t ca l l S imons pol i te . S E C O N D W O M A N : She has offended more than once. [...] She ' s o n l y th i r ty-s ix and she's dated. [...] F I R S T W O M A N : A n d she has yet to be produced i n Toron to . . . M A N : N e w Y o r k . . . S E C O N D W O M A N : L o n d o n . . . A L L T O G E T H E R : O r C B C Na t iona l Te lev i s ion . S E C O N D W O M A N : Poor B e v e r l e y . . . (Prologue 10-14) E v e n i n this smal l section, S i m o n s ' i ron ic humor and self-reflexive style are evident. She takes an offensive stance, cha l lenging both audience and theatrical producer to engage w i t h her material . I f characters exist on ly as a product o f audience attention, where does that leave the majori ty o f her characters? Since they have not been brought to l ife o n the professional stage, can it be argued that they do not exist? T h e p rob lem is that they do exist and ought to be g iven an audience. S imons acknowledges that her p lays ruffle the 18 feathers o f the mainstream theatre practice. In the section above, one m a y read an almost prescient sense o f what w i l l later become her never-ending struggle to have her p lays produced. Prologue is the most overt ly po l i t i ca l o f her plays , and as such, one can see the influence o f Brecht . The po l i t i ca l mot iva t ion o f this piece, as w e l l as its use o f direct audience address l inks it direct ly to the tenets o f ' E p i c ' theatre. L i k e many p laywrights o f the twentieth century w h o owe their dramaturgical structures and staging pr inc ip les to innovators l i ke Brecht , M e y e r h o l d , A p p i a and C r a i g , many o f S i m o n s ' texts, i nc lud ing now you see it..., emp loy a m y r i a d o f dramatic conventions. W h e n I c l a i m the influence o f Brech t upon her work , it is not, aside f rom the above Prologue, his po l i t i ca l discourse that she emulates, but rather his l iberat ion f rom realist ic stage conventions. S i m o n s ' manipu la t ion o f t ime and space, her abi l i ty to produce plays that require m i n i m a l sets, her use o f screens and mul t imed ia can a l l be seen as hav ing been di rect ly inf luenced b y the revolut ionary theatre practices that real ly took root after W o r l d W a r I. In addi t ion, her use o f diverse theatrical cultures and deeply embedded intertextuality exposes her creat ivi ty, w i t and intel l igence. The w i t and intel l igence o f S imons can be read through the penchant her characters have for m i n d games. The most evident and expl ic i t example o f this can be seen i n S i m o n s ' most famous character, Sadie G o l d e n , the doomed protagonist o f Crabdance. In this p lay , a middle-aged, lone ly w i d o w trades her power as a consumer for fantasy ro le-play as she negotiates w i t h the door-to-door salesmen that enter her l i fe . In exchange for the 19 promise to buy their wares, the three salesmen w h o j o i n i n her fantasy acquiesce to become the archetypal roles o f Son , Husband and L o v e r . T h e y suffer her abuses and humi l ia t ions , alternatively threatening Sadie and v y i n g for her attention. In the end, however , Sadie is not able to remain i n control o f the game she has begun. A s her house becomes inundated w i t h salesmen, the last one to arrive, M r . U n d e r h i l l , w h o mys te r ious ly enters f rom her "non-existent second f loor" (S imons , Crabdance 119), reveals Sadie ' s coff in , w h i c h has been l i tera l ly under wraps onstage throughout the who le course o f the play. A s the "salesmen raise the coff in [with Sadie inside] and carry it s l o w l y towards the staircase, [—i]t is apparent n o w that there is defini tely no second storey. The sound ceases abruptly. The cortege moves s i lent ly up the stairs to the v o i d " (121). "The c y c l i c a l movement o f Crabdance is integral to its inner rhythms and to its v i s i o n o f l i fe . [...] The p l ay ing o f games develops into an elaborate seduction after w h i c h the games become increas ingly frenzied. The roles o f husband, son and lover are w o v e n inext r icably into each stage o f this process, w h i c h is centered on and orchestrated b y Sadie G o l d e n " (Raby 123). L i k e Samuel Becke t t ' s servant C l o v , or the disgrunt led f a m i l y i n P i rande l lo ' s Six Characters in Search of an Author, the characters i n Crabdance r emain trapped i n the w o r l d that has been wri t ten for them b y the author. There is no escape f rom this l imi ted p l ay ing space, and therefore, the characters have no choice but to beg in again w i t h the hopes that things m a y turn out better next t ime. Despi te a large amount o f praise for this play, Crabdance has received o n l y four professional product ions i n Canada. M a l c o l m B l a c k , the director w h o premiered 20 Crabdance, sympathizes w i t h S imons regarding her deep disappointment i n be ing under produced. H e says that "[a]nyone who can open wounds o n paper as B e v e r l e y d i d ends up w i t h some pretty l i v i d scars" (9). In other words , cr i t ics and producers retaliate against S i m o n s ' chal lenging texts by d ismiss ing them. Quoted b y B l a c k , another r e v i e w displays the misgu ided personal attacks w h i c h S imons suffered as a result o f her work : " P i t y M r . S imons i f the leading lady i n Crabdance is a self-portrait o f his w i f e " (16). Nega t ive attention garnered from her w o r k often comes i n the form o f a personal attack o n S imons , equating author w i t h character. Praise for her w o r k is characterized by be ing so le ly about her unique wr i t ing style, her resonance i n the socia l landscape and the cha l lenging nature o f her wri t ten material . Those w h o d i s l i ked the p lay w o u l d perhaps decry many o f the good rev iews as hyperbol ic i n tone, yet as B l a c k quotes from the Seattle Times, S imons "gave the actors a lot to w o r k w i t h " (11), as she a lways does. S imons endows her actors w i t h a great amount o f responsibi l i ty . H e r earliest monodrama, Preparing, fo l lows the l ife o f Jeannie as she moves f rom rambunctious adolescent to curmudgeonly grandmother. The p l ay begins w i t h the brash rebe l l ion o f early teens. A s J E A N N I E talks, adjusts her dress, hair and make-up, she matures; but a lways present is her g r o w i n g sexual power , her fear, her qu ick i ronic m i n d , her candour. T h e monologue ends w i t h the brash indifference o f o l d age. [...] It cou ld be done anywhere wi thout special l ight ing [..., fjhe shifts o f emot ion and t ime happen through her. (Preparing 26) 21 F o r S imons , the actors carry the brunt o f her detailed and specific rhy thmic structures. W h e n she writes her plays , S imons has a clear v i s i o n o f the p lay as it ought to be produced onstage. W h i l e she leaves r o o m for the creative input o f the artists i n v o l v e d i n the product ion , she offers extensive guidelines and suggestions. A s evidenced by the stage directions for Preparing above, S imons places her trust i n the actress and the director, but does not leave them without exp l i c i t guidance. In her o w n words , this p lay "belongs to the actress" (Preparing 26). Since the beginning o f her p l aywr i t ing career, S imons has employed a r i c h and var ied dramaturgical style. E v e n as a young writer , she m o v e d q u i c k l y away f rom the tragic rea l i sm o f her first fu l l length drama, The Elephant and the Jewish Question, towards an appreciat ion o f metaphor, s y m b o l i s m and self-deprecating wi t : F I R S T W O M A N : W e a l l k n o w Simons uses symbols . S E C O N D W O M A N : T h e n what do we stand for? M A N : C a n ' t be the four directions. S E C O N D W O M A N : N o r the seasons. F I R S T W O M A N : The pr imary colours? S E C O N D W O M A N : The eternal Tr iangle? F I R S T W O M A N : Potential there. M A N : She 's done it. S E C O N D W O M A N : O h . (Prologue 12-13) 22 Dramaturg ica l ly , her plays resonate wi th , and reproduce, absurdist elements i nc lud ing repeti t ion, i so la t ion and personal exi le . W e can see f rom the section above that her characters struggle to figure out who they are. W h i l e this process o f d i scovery is not . a lways as expl ic i t as above, even S imons ' most mainstream play to date, now you see it..., expressly deals w i t h characters yearning for a clear sense o f self. The th i rd major influence o n S i m o n s ' wr i t i ng is Orienta l dramaturgy. S imons embraces many aspects o f Eastern staging techniques inc lud ing , for example, the "helper" figure used i n N o h drama, employed to great effect i n two o f her plays , The Crusader and Leela Means To Play, as w e l l as al lusions to, and use of, the s ty l iza t ion found i n K a b u k i and K a t h a k a l i drama. A s M a r t i n M o r r o w points out, " S i m o n s [...] wears her A s i a n influences o n her s leeve" (52). B y the t ime we come to now you see it..., a l l three o f the aforementioned convent ions / styl is t ic genres, A b s u r d i s m , Brech t ian i sm and Or ien ta l i sm, can be found to va ry ing degrees w i t h i n the work . Throughout most o f the p lay , she has simultaneous scenes occurr ing . In other words two two-person scenes take place o n the same stage. E a c h scene is discrete i n terms o f characters and locat ion, but they are w h o l l y dependent o n each other for meaning and ly r i ca l counterpoint. W h i l e now you see it... m a y be the most thematical ly mainstream o f her later works , dramaturgical ly it is her most complex . S i m o n s ' dramaturgy has a lways been complex , but now you see zY... t ruly takes it to another leve l by spli t t ing the stage and hav ing concurrent scenes happen s imultaneously. The challenge is to make the dialogue in te l l ig ib le rather than a mere soundscape o f noise. 23 H o w and w h y she parallels the scenes i n rhy thm and meaning w i l l be examined later i n this thesis. Howeve r , we must first address the issue o f counterpoint. A Point About Counterpoint " D o y o u k n o w what I say? I say fuck ' e m a l l " (S imons , Prepar ing 26). One o f the major c la ims o f those u n w i l l i n g to produce now you see it... is that S i m o n s ' "technique o f simultaneous scenes is something that exists on ly i n her o w n imagina t ion ; it barely works on the page, [...] it w i l l be a nightmare to rehearse, p lac ing i ron c lamps around the creat ivi ty o f both the actors and the director" (Kareda) . D u r i n g his l i fe , U r j o K a r e d a was an important figure i n , and a great champion o f Canadian theatre. H i s background was "dramaturgical and l i terary," and he was par t icular ly enamored w i t h the "dar ing and idea l i sm o f those who r i sked producing n e w w o r k s " ( Z i m m e r m a n 211) . H i s invo lvement w i t h , and importance to theatre i n Canada is undeniable. "There is hard ly a p laywr igh t i n the country w h o has not had a career connect ion w i t h Ur j o Kareda , the consummate broker o f Canad ian drama" (212). I w i l l return to Kareda ' s assertion that now you see it... is too diff icul t to produce later i n m y analysis. Y e t , I cannot help but wonder i f i n m y est imation o f her chal lenging dramaturgy, a m I va lu ing qualit ies i n this p lay that do not actually exist? W h y is it that I can see the unique complex i ty o f this script, w h i l e others cannot? S imons uses the simultaneous scene technique more than most p laywrights , but many plays use this dual scene convent ion. In fact, two such plays have been presented on V a n c o u v e r stages this season, namely Copenhagen and Enchanted April. W h i l e both o f 24 these p lays make use o f a split-stage dramaturgy, where the two simultaneous scenes are p l ayed i n their o w n distinct wor lds , each p lay does it for on ly one scene w i t h i n the p lay , un l ike S imons who uses the convent ion for the entirety o f her piece. W h i l e it fits dramaturgical ly into Copenhagen because the who le p lay uses non-realist ic convent ions o f repeti t ion and manipula t ion o f t ime and space, i n Enchanted April this type o f dramaturgy is entirely at odds w i t h the sense o f rea l i sm w h i c h the p lay tries hard to create. Since it is not integral to the plot, the split-stage i n this p lay comes across as pretentious. The p laywr igh t breaks his realistic convent ion for one short scene, and never returns to a non-realist ic dramaturgy. A l l three plays engage to some degree i n a f lu id i ty o f scene transitions. However , b y the second act o f Enchanted April, w h i c h takes place entirely i n one locat ion, the p lay uses on ly realist ic conventions. Therefore the split-scene convent ion used just pr ior to intermission is entirely out o f place. In contrast, this convent ion i n S i m o n s ' w o r k is fundamental to both the meaning and the staging o f the drama. In order to i l luminate the complex and integral w a y i n w h i c h S imons employs her spli t-stage dramaturgy, I w o u l d l ike to examine this same convent ion as it is used i n both Copenhagen and Enchanted April. In Copenhagen, M i c h a e l F r a y n begins his p l ay wi thout any stage directions. It becomes evident quite q u i c k l y that the p lay takes place i n the afterlife where "no one can be hurt [.. .nor] betrayed" (4). A s F r a y n introduces his characters and the major ideas w i t h w h i c h his p lay is concerned, he depicts N i e l s B o h r i n conversat ion w i t h his wi fe , Margrethe. Counterpoint ing this is the private rumina t ion o f Werner Heisenberg as he struggles to sort through the same issues and memor ies as the 25 Bohrs . H o w e v e r , w h i l e the Bohrs remain ob l iv ious to the thoughts o f Heisenberg , he is able to interject and react to their dialogue. In other words , Heisenberg can c lear ly hear the Bohr s , but they are ignorant o f his presence. S l o w l y , these three characters enter into the same space and t ime and are able to interact i n fu l l acknowledgment o f the others. Bohr [...] Ano the r year or so and h e ' d got uncertainty. Margrethe A n d y o u ' d done complementari ty. Bohr W e argued them both out together. Heisenberg W e d i d most o f our best w o r k together. Bohr Heisenberg usual ly led the way . Heisenberg B o h r made sense o f it a l l . Bohr W e operated l ike a business. Heisenberg Cha i rman and managing director. Margrethe Father and son. Heisenberg A f ami ly business. Margrethe E v e n though we had sons o f our o w n . Bohr A n d we went on w o r k i n g together long after he ceased to be m y assistant. Heisenberg L o n g after I ' d left Copenhagen i n 1927 and gone back to Germany . L o n g after I had a chair and a fami ly o f m y own . Margrethe T h e n the N a z i s came to power . . . Bohr A n d it got more and more diff icult . W h e n the war broke out - imposs ib le . U n t i l that day i n 1941. Margrethe W h e n it f inished forever. Bohr Y e s , w h y d i d he do it? (Copenhagen 5-6) 26 F r a y n ' s use o f counterpoint is intell igent and evocative. Howeve r , it is not the same k i n d o f counterpoint that S imons uses because it deals exp l i c i t l y w i t h the past and m e m o r y rather than the present or future. In other words , F r a y n splits his stage to show the dialect ic o f two past wor lds wh i l e S imons uses a split stage to conflate two separate stories into one. F r a y n uses this technique to co l lec t ive ly unscramble memory . A single character agrees or disagrees wi th , and reiterates the sentiments o f the other two characters. S imons , on the other hand, uses this counterpoint as a w a y to juxtapose character thoughts, beliefs and motivat ions. In Enchanted April, Ma t thew Barber ' s use o f split-stage offers nothing. It does not raise the dramatic tension, nor does it have the same intell igent function that it has i n both F r a y n ' s and S i m o n s ' p lays . The stakes are never raised i n this p lay even though the f ami l i a l problems are s imi la r to the breakdown o f f ami ly that occurs i n now you see it.... In this lighthearted, non-chal lenging play, the prudishness o f Rose and the phi lander ing o f her husband, Freder ick, are contrasted w i t h the v ib rancy o f L o t t y and the disregard o f her b y her husband M e l l e r s h . Here is an example o f Barber ' s use o f split-stage: F R E D E R I C K . W e l l , now. Y o u ' r e up late! R O S E . Y e s , Frederick. There 's something I need to speak to y o u about. L O T T Y . M a y I speak to y o u about something, M e l l e r s h ? M E L L E R S H . It so happens I have something to speak to y o u about as w e l l . Y o u te l l me yours, and then I ' l l te l l y o u mine . 27 F R E D E R I C K . C o u l d it wai t un t i l morn ing? Once again M r . A y e r s was a success, and once again M r . Arno t t is exhausted. [...] L O T T Y . A friend has inv i ted me. [...] M E L L E R S H . W h o ? F R E D E R I C K . Rose? L O T T Y . Rose . M E L L E R S H . Rose? R O S E . W e can' t go back, Frederick. M E L L E R S H . Rose w h o ? R O S E . W e can on ly go forward. (Enchanted A p r i l 29-30) S ince Barber never comes back to this technique, nor does he emp loy any other anti-i l lus ion is t technique, aside from the occasional direct address at the ve ry beg inn ing o f the p lay , one must quest ion its usefulness. W h i l e it m a y be said that he employs this technique to para l le l the f ami l i a l experiences o f his two leading ladies, since that para l le l is never again juxtaposed i n the same way , the above scene stands out as be ing different f rom the rest o f his text. In contrast, the specif ici ty and chal lenging rhy thmica l structure o f S i m o n s ' split-stage w i l l become apparent as I move through the cr i t ica l appraisal o f her work , now you see it.... B e l o w is the opening sequence o f S i m o n s ' play. In their respective homes, two couples are dressing for a dinner party. There are two ways to read the excerpt. E i ther read d o w n one c o l u m n to understand the f l o w o f one couple alone, or read the l ines i n 28 sequence to get a g l impse o f the overa l l acting rhy thm and intel lectual counterpoint. P a y part icular attention to the disruptions when an actor 's l ine looks l ike it is p laced o n h o l d to a l l o w unconnected dialogue to come f rom the other couple. J U D I T H : W h a t should I wear? M A R K : G i v e ' i m your regal look, one o f your l ong sk i r t s . . . I S A B E L : A t least change your j acke t . . . M A R K : I t ' l l either be your seafood bisque or your gorgeous ass. . . I S A B E L : I want y o u to be comfortable, Thomas . M A R K : H e ' l l be ready to agree to anything. [...] J U D I T H : [Thomas is] a decent man. H e shares our ethics. M A R K : A c c o r d i n g to w h o m ? I S A B E L : They ' r e Ir is 's friends. J U D I T H : A c c o r d i n g to Iris. M A R K : W h y else w o u l d Judith, the unrelenting, open the sacred domestic gates to strangers? I S A B E L : S h e ' l l ask them what they th ink o f us. 29 J U D I T H : They ' r e not strangers. T H O M A S : I f M s . M c C a u l e y has descr ibed us as gods . . . M A R K : I recognize the type. T H O M A S : . . . i t ' s our duty to subvert the image. M A R K : Trust me. I S A B E L : Wear it for m e then. [...] T H O M A S : F o r w h o m ? I S A B E L : (Her voice changes) F o r Eleanor . . . o f A q u i t a i n e . . .for Cleopa t ra . . .for your T u r k i s h horse and the sweet lady o f k n i v e s . . . T H O M A S : F o r Isabel. A s his mistress directs, her Ferd inand obeys (2-3). I be l ieve that anyone reading this script is instantly put o f f by the unusual l ook o f the text. A l t h o u g h S imons wrote the script this w a y to ease understanding as each "scene can be read and understood b y reading d o w n one c o l u m n [.. .but] w h e n read i n in te r lock ing order - that is , across the page - it w i l l become apparent h o w the scenes act as a counterpoint and comment o n one another" (Cast page), this unique dramaturgy most certainly acts as the p l ay ' s first deterrent. Compared w i t h the s imi la r scene f rom Enchanted April, one can see that i n S i m o n s ' work , the characters are i l lumina ted 30 spec i f ica l ly by the contrasting scenes at p lay. Rather than us ing this technique to be clever, as Barber does, S imons uses it to force judgment and cr i t ica l character evaluations f rom her audience. S t a g i n g a n d R h y t h m Characters are unique ly juxtaposed i n S imons ' play. There is a major difference between four characters occupy ing different spaces, l ike the two areas needed above to act as two separate bedrooms, and the same characters occupy ing the same space, l ike the party scene that takes place after this opening sequence. W h e n two separate scenes occur s imultaneously, it a l lows characters' dialogue to intersect w i t h an entirely different scene, wi thout direct ly comment ing on it. In other words , w i t h simultaneous scenes happening, the audience is aware that one conversation relates to and challenges another conversat ion, even though a l l four characters are not p l ay ing i n the same emot iona l or phys i ca l space. The real quest ion is whether or not this strict rhythmic and dramatic structure w i l l indeed "be a nightmare to rehearse [.. .by] p lac ing i ron clamps around the creat ivi ty o f both the actors and the director" (Kareda). I w o u l d l ike to look c lose ly at the f o l l o w i n g four l ines i n order to env i s ion them as they w i l l function onstage: I S A B E L : A t least change your j acke t . . . M A R K : I t ' l l either be your seafood bisque or your gorgeous ass. . . 31 I S A B E L : I want y o u to be comfortable, Thomas . M A R K : H e ' l l be ready to agree to anything. (2) First , l ook at h o w S i m o n s ' juxtaposi t ion creates meaning for the audience. The car ing o f Isabel for her husband's welfare is contrasted w i t h the p i m p - l i k e w o m a n i z i n g o f M a r k . B a r e l y f ive l ines into the p lay , S imons has already alienated a majori ty o f the older or more prudish theatre patrons. She places the audience on edge w i t h M a r k ' s crass w a y o f speaking, and w h e n Isabel says, "I want y o u to be comfortable," one m a y almost imagine S imons is i ron ica l ly speaking, through Isabel, to her audience. Rather than see this dialogue as constr ict ing, I see i n it S i m o n s ' account ing for the movement and rhy thm o f da i ly l i fe . Th rough the course o f this scene, Thomas must c lear ly have o n a particular outfit, he m a y regard h i m s e l f i n the mir ror , change his jacket , perhaps puts o n a tie. In l i fe , people do not often speak i n fu l l , unbroken sentences, especia l ly w h e n they are at home or i n the company o f someone w h o m they k n o w very w e l l . The rhy thm o f S i m o n s ' wr i t ing is present i n its intr icacy o f dialogue. It is wri t ten l ike an operatic score. A s a c h i l d , S imons was a mus ica l prodigy, "performing p u b l i c l y as w e l l as teaching piano to adults and chi ldren at the age o f 13" ( A B iog raph i ca l Check l i s t 28). Influenced b y a l i fe - long love o f mus ic , the lines i n now you see it... are wri t ten as l y r i c a l duets and 32 quartets. H o w can this funct ion on the stage? One opt ion is to emphasize certain l ines. In other words , as a director, one p icks what is most important to the scene and ensures that those l ines are heard above others, just as the strings or w o o d w i n d s are accentuated i n a part icular operatic movement . Another opt ion is to b lock the scene i n such a w a y that focus is directed exact ly where it is required at any g iven moment . In other words , through l igh t ing and the phys ica l placement o f actors, directors can lead the audience to see p r i m a r i l y what they want seen. M o v i n g an actor to the front o f the stage or p l ac ing them o n a different l eve l w i l l draw an audience's attention toward them, for example . Once this p lay is g iven the chance to be embodied by actors, I bel ieve that the innate rhy thmic structure w i l l be as natural as a heartbeat. Ac to r s w i l l inst inctual ly feel h o w to f i l l i n speech gaps, because they come out o f real speech patterns. That is w h y this simultaneous scenes structure can be evidenced i n a l l three plays l isted above. It is not "something that exists on ly i n [S imons ' ] imagina t ion" (Kareda) . A subtle gesture, a moment o f eye contact, or a thought process m a y take rough ly the same amount o f t ime as a character does i n de l iver ing a l ine. I f every moment for the actor is f i l l ed w i t h the reali ty o f the character, the l i fe- rhythm o f this p lay shou ld come naturally. W h i l e this p lay w i l l a lways be a challenge for the audience, i f the director and actors understand the rhy thmic intricacies and are able to f ind the freedom w i t h i n the d ia log ic constr ic t ion, the p lay should not be diff icul t to fo l l ow. I f one is not able to keep up w i t h the plot, the feel ing o f the p lay w i l l no doubt be palpable. 33 Simons evokes m o o d through l ight ing, set, costume, projections and mus ic . The stage proper is pa radoxica l ly luxuriant and bare at the same t ime. R i c h colors used i n l igh t ing design w i l l augment the richness o f costume and set. E v e n i f this p lay is produced o n a m i n i m a l budget, one m a y create the sense o f weal th , power and l uxu ry that f i l l s the l ives o f these characters. S i m o n s ' inc lus ion o f projections a l lows the stage space to become any t ime or place. F o r example, through a l ight change, a project ion and some mus ic , the audience moves f rom Ir is ' condo to M a r k ' s i n seconds. It is interesting to note that o f these technical aspects, S imons almost never offers suggestions for sound cues. Since she grew up as a pianist, one m a y assume that mus i c is an important part o f S i m o n s ' l ife and, therefore, one w o u l d expect an exp l i c i t l y detai led suggestion for mus ic . Y e t , wh i l e S imons explains i n detail what she wants to see i n v i sua l terms, she includes a m i n i m a l sound score. Instead, her dialogue is representative o f her m u s i c a l choice . In other words , she hears the dialogue as the p l a y ' s score. O f course, i n product ion ambient sound is added to ease the transitions o f changing locat ions and scenes. S imons leaves those choices to the director. 34 I I I . D E T A I L E D A N A L Y S I S O F NOW YOU SEE IT... " M u l t i p l e levels are i n v o l v e d i n the creative act; i t ' s out o f a deeper w i s d o m that I wri te . F o r me, at least, that w i s d o m is not on tap to analyze current po l i t i c a l situations or new dramatic structure, though both may be part o f the in i t i a l mo t ive energy. The creative vo ice is more devious. It absorbs facts, demands, urges, experiences; I m a y present it w i t h themes and potential characters; as to an oracle the questions must be put; but once the w o r k o f intellect is complete, I can o n l y wai t for f loors, wa l l s , ce i l ings , the log ica l d iv i s ions o f the m i n d out o f w h i c h an essay w o u l d natural ly be constructed, to dissolve and reshape" (S imons , " E p i l o g u e to ' P r o l o g u e ' " 281) now you see it... explores the dif f icul ty o f f inding a universal truth i n a society where diverse cultures, communi t ies and w o r l d v iews are juxtaposed. It examines issues o f cul tural d ivers i ty most notably through the interplay o f two couples. The Sugarmans are a l ibera l J ewi sh couple compr ised o f a phi lander ing lawyer / husband and an ex-soc ia l worker / stay-at-home mother who has g iven up her career i n order to fu l f i l l her v i s i o n o f motherhood. The Fletchers are a w e l l respected Chr i s t i an couple i n w h i c h the abusive doctor / husband participates i n the fantasy role p l ay ing o f his ex-actress wi fe , her fo rm o f denial . The relationships o f these couples are chal lenged b y their mutual female fr iend Iris. S imons counterpoints her scenes both rhy thmica l ly and intel lectual ly. The strength o f this p lay relies o n a dual scene structure w h i c h a l lows the words to converge and d iv ide 35 i n both meaning and meter. R h y t h m i c a l l y , this text demands that an actor k n o w far more than his or her o w n lines. S i m o n s ' actors must constantly be alert to both what is happening w i t h the scene partner w i t h w h o m they speak and the scene that is p l a y i n g out across the stage. A l t h o u g h this opposing scene has no connect ion to what the character says or is do ing , the actor must be l is tening for cue l ines and have a general awareness o f the other actors. Techn ica l ly speaking, this dual scene structure and simultanei ty o f dialogue is the most daunting aspect o f S i m o n s ' p lay for reader, director, and actor. Th rough a detailed dramaturgical explorat ion o f the text, I w i l l i l luminate the necessity o f this cha l lenging and compl ica ted form o f theatrical invent ion. Dramaturgical Report "She talks a lot about free fo rm. . .Bu t does she ever let us improvise? O h , no. She defines. . . A n a l y z e s . . .Conceptual izes . . .Abstracts . . .E l imina t e s . . . Regurgitates [...] T r i c k rides, tai lspins, strong stomachs needed" (S imons , Pro logue 12-13) now you see zY...has never been publ ished and w i l l not be afforded that opt ion un t i l it has had its first mount ing . M y dramaturgical function toward this script is to examine h o w it w i l l m o v e f rom the page to the stage. In order to facilitate understanding o f this thesis as it examines the complex i ty o f S imons ' s p lay , I w i l l provide a detailed plot and character summary. The first w a y I come to any script is as a dramaturge asking questions: A r e the characters and situations real and log ica l to the w o r l d that the author has created? W h a t do I need to 36 research i n order to better understand this text i n terms o f history, place and context? Does the p l ay ' s structure w o r k ? D o I understand author's intent? C a n I "see" the p l ay i n m y m i n d ? Characters A l l characters i n this p lay are multifaceted and complex , constantly t ransforming and remak ing / reshaping their l ives . It is left up to the audience to see them for w h o they rea l ly are, as the characters never have any epiphany o f self-awareness. Ideal ly, u p o n reflect ion, audience members w i l l have an increased attentiveness to their o w n ethical and mora l pos i t ion ing . The scenes are unrestricted i n their f l o w f rom one to the next. A l igh t ing cue, an actor 's movement or a sound easi ly transports us f rom one locat ion to another. In other words , the scenes cross fade, b leeding into each other. The benefit o f this is that it a l lows the audience to stay w i t h the characters through their transitions. In other words , the audience sees them as they m o v e phys ica l ly and emot ional ly f rom be ing "out" to be ing "home" . In this way , S i m o n s ' dramaturgy works to advance her theme: the audience l i tera l ly sees the characters taking o f f their pub l ic mask and replacing it w i t h a domest ic one. Y e t , the p rob lem that remains for each o f the characters is that there is "no face under the mask" (24). I have inc luded two types o f character descript ion. The first is a "snap shot" gleaned mos t ly f rom the cast l ist p rov ided by S imons . The second is a detailed analysis us ing 37 l ines spoken b y characters about themselves and about each other. Th i s is c o m m o n l y employed as an act ing technique i n order to give actors a broader picture o f the mul t ip l ic i t i es found w i t h i n the character they portray. Judi th S u g a r m a n - early 40 ' s . Ret i red social worker . Mo the r o f four w i t h an "uncompromis ing socia l and personal conscience" (Cast L i s t ) . Judi th is "unrelent ing" (2) i n her r i g id ly appl ied mora l consciousness; she "spares no-one" (7). She has a "fet ish for emba lming" (4), and therefore M a r k , an ever-changing, fa l l ib le human being, w i l l never be able to meet her exacting expectations. M a r k c l a ims Judi th is "ant i -social [.. .and] complete ly without socia l conscience" (8). H e supports this argument b y remind ing her, i n front o f the Fletchers, that his "bal ls [were] o n the scale each m o n t h " i n order to afford such a secluded house i n " a remarkable l oca t ion" (4). She has "[f jrozen [Mark] out" (9) because "the goddess has turned to stone" (21). Th rough the couple ' s sexual tensions we see the "he said / she sa id" o f their marr ied l i fe . Judi th is so restricted by her mora l i ty that she is almost paralyzed. W h e n her ch i ld ren l ook at her " i t ' s terr i fying. Wha t [she does or says] w i l l be imprinted deep inside them: it might not show unt i l twenty or thirty years f rom n o w " (56). She is fearful o f emot iona l ly ha rming her chi ldren. Howeve r , she senses that this disastrous result is ubiqui tous i n humank ind . Indeed, a l l o f the characters S imons offers i n this p lay are emot iona l ly stunted, o w i n g , i n part, to their chi ldhoods. " Jay ' s mis s ing a sk in : she doesn' t watch the evening news; she l ives it. It 's our k ids w i t h the bloated bel l ies; i t ' s our house be ing b o m b e d " (50, S i m o n s ' emphasis). A s an ex-socia l worker she is able to offer advice , 38 s o l v i n g a l l o f her fr iends' problems, but not her o w n . H e r abi l i ty to see into the heart o f someone else 's predicament is contrasted w i t h the denial o f her f ami l i a l cr is is . She ' s " b l i n d " to M a r k ' s indiscretions (56), yet he feels that there is "no mercy i n that b i t c h " (62). She has become "sadly petty" (63), " a material ist" (43). Judi th s l o w l y learns h o w to relax her mora l r ig id i ty as evidenced by her da i ly wa lks . The route is unplanned. She is "gu ided" by her body as it "cruises [...] through the c i ty i n search [...] o f m e n at w o r k " (70). M a r k Sugarman - m i d 40 ' s . A phi lander ing defense lawyer w h o "feeds on combat and praise" (Cast L i s t ) . H i s marriage is on the rocks. H e has h idden a second f ami ly for s ix years. M a r k is a "c rayon socia l is t" (32) who " l ikes to d raw i n b ig , bright co lours" (33). H e is a c rayon moral is t , too. H e fights for just ice for his clients w h i l e be ing patently unjust to his wi fe . Judi th believes that " M a r k is not renowned for his co l lec t ing s k i l l s " (20), but consider ing that he is effectively supporting three households, his apartment, the house he shares w i t h Judi th, and the home he provides for M o n a , he must be able to col lec t what he is o w e d for legal counsel . H e has, however , let the b i l l s and mortgage o n Judi th ' s home fa l l into arrears. M a r k is evident ly neglectful o f his fami ly . H i s daughter Jenny "had her tonsils out" but M a r k "forgot" (40). T h o u g h he "brought back mater ial for [his son] A a r o n , great stuff for his l aw project, [.. .i]t was due last week" and A a r o n had "postponed three t imes for [...] M a r k " (41). A s i d e f rom Iris and M o n a , M a r k also cheats o n his wi fe w i t h professional ca l l girls . M a r k c la ims that everything he has done, he has 39 done for his f ami ly . Y e t , as Judi th points out, he never asked them what they wanted, and they certainly do not benefit f rom his adultery. In M a r k ' s practice o f l aw , his phi lander ing, and i n the fact that he has an entire other fami ly , one can see the enormous pressure exerted upon h i m . H e says he does not k n o w w h o he is. Y e t , he is f i l l ed w i t h so m u c h exuberant l i fe energy that he is rea l ly l i v i n g mul t ip le l ives . H e w o u l d l i ke to bel ieve that he practices l aw al truist ical ly, as everyone is entitled to a fair t r ia l , but it is clear that what he loves is the th r i l l o f power and prestige. H e does not a l l o w any ethical or personal ideas o f just ice to enter into his j ob . H e must on ly defend his clients to the letter o f the l aw. It is not his place to decide innocence or guilt , but to make sure his clients are aware o f their rights. Iris M c C a u l e y - early 40 's lawyer . A "feminist ; b i - sexua l" who is friends w i t h both o f the w o m e n (Cast L i s t ) . She has an affair w i t h both M a r k and Isabel. Iris l ives i n many wor lds as M a r k does, but her energy is contained. She relies o n her ca lm , c o o l exterior i n order to succeed i n a male dominated w o r k force. W h e n she and M a r k defend an East Indian father and son charged w i t h the murder o f their cous in / niece, she prevai ls for the son by "go ing for [ M a r k ' s ] c l ient ' s throat" (51). She c l a ims that she does not "respect" M a r k , but.has sex w i t h h i m anyway (25). She has k n o w n h i m for years and began sleeping w i t h h i m shortly after Judi th introduced them. " L e g a l argument does make [her] horny" (52), w h i c h is w h y she sleeps w i t h her marr ied "learned adversary[ies]" (31). Iris gives "[r]oses not crabs" (32) to the w ives o f the m e n she sleeps w i t h and sends their husbands back w i t h "renewed patience w i t h the k ids 40 [.. .and] i n n o v a t i o n ] i n bed " ( 3 1 ) . Therefore, Iris sees herself as a posi t ive contributor to their f a m i l y l i fe . W h i l e she emot ional ly bonds w i t h women , she uses m e n for sexual fulf i l lment . Sexua l ly , she is "safe and discreet" (31) and therefore, her relat ionship w i t h M a r k is c l i n i c a l i n its emot ion. The i r coup l ing is an imal desire amount ing to noth ing romant ica l ly deeper than "sensual involvement" (31). Ir is ' relat ionship w i t h both Judi th and Isabel is m u c h more complicated. H e r reasons for t ry ing to seduce them, o n separate occasions, has more to do w i t h her need to offer something to them, rather than to take for herself. H e r b i -sexual nature a l lows her to cross into mul t ip le wor lds and different modes o f being. She plays i n the domest ic i ty o f womanhood as easi ly as the compet i t ive workp lace o f her male counterparts. Isabel Fletcher - early 40 ' s . Ret i red actress / dancer. M o v e s "as i f onstage" (Cast L i s t ) . P l ays different roles i n an adult, private game o f dress up. H e r husband is charged w i t h her murder; her f inal scene is posthumous. Isabel is " a f o o l " (22). She "earns every p iece" o f j ewe l ry (28) she gets f rom her husband, the doctor. She and Thomas have a destructive co-dependency: "THOMAS hits her; SHE seizes his hand [...] ISABEL kisses his hand, then places it on her breast or crotch" (39): She believes she is deserving o f the phys ica l abuse as she is "an awfu l person" (64). She c la ims that Thomas ' abuse o f her "ca l l s [her] back" to reali ty. Wi thou t h i m , she w o u l d have "left [her] body long ago" (65). Isabel regards herse l f as a shel l o f a human. She has no substance other than her m y r i a d o f acted characters. " T h e y say, as y o u get older, more and more it shows on your sk in w h o and what y o u are [...] I ' m 41 nobody at a l l . H e undresses me i n the dark so neither o f us can see" (63). W h e n she is f ina l ly able and w i l l i n g to truly open herself to Iris, "[s]he takes off her jacket, revealing bruises and fresh wounds: until now she's worn clothing with long sleeves to the wrist" (64). Isabel believes that she has "done terrible things i n her l i f e " (64), l i ke hav ing " u g l y thoughts. [.. . W h i l e bjeauty is on ly sk in deep [.. .fjhoughts are rea l " (65). Despi te her years i n the theatre and the fact that she has raised two chi ldren , Thomas says she has "never w o r k e d a day i n [her] l i fe! [She] never thinks o f anyone but [herself]. W h a t k i n d o f a freak [is she]? [She doesn't] even care for [her] ch i ld ren" (53). Thomas drugs her to keep her p l iab le and receptive to his control : "(Approaching Isabel with a small bottle) O p e n up, m y gypsy queen: i t ' s not poison. [...] It a l lows us to p l a y " (54). Isabel bel ieves that her outer shel l is disappearing l ike her inner core. H e r " s k i n is turning to dust [...] M o s t o f [her] has f laked away [...she's] d ry ing and f lak ing ; i t ' s almost gone" (61). Isabel l ives through fantasy. U s u a l l y , this is depicted i n her costume changes that denote h is tor ica l characters through w h i c h she seduces her husband, Thomas . H e r most frightening fantasy is closer to delus ion than desire, however . A t the beg inn ing o f act two, Thomas tells Isabel about a " w o m a n [who] d ied today. . .under [his] hands" (53). H e " c o u l d see [his patient]; it was l ike a mis t seeping out o f her nostri ls , her ears, a l l the crevices i n her body. I f [he] cou ld have stopped them up! [ . . . I ]f t h e y ' d p lugged the openings the w a y [he] to ld them, [he] might s t i l l be able to catch her. B u t she escaped; she s l ipped through" (53). A t the end o f the p lay , Isabel tries i n v a i n to keep her spiri t f rom s l ipp ing away. In her f inal offstage confrontation w i t h Thomas , she had "taken out the stones f rom her emerald earrings and necklace; her pearls, too: she 'd shoved them up her vagina . Jade i n her anus. Rubies i n her mouth. Into every orif ice he might consider. 42 D i a m o n d s up her nost r i l s" (84-85). Y e t , this l i teral s topping up o f her body is not enough to prevent her death. Iris misreads this moment. She believes that Isabel wants to keep Thomas out, when what she real ly wants is to keep herself - her spirit - i n . Thomas Fletcher - m i d 40 ' s . A " h i g h l y respected" obstetrician /gynecologis t . H i s "power emanates f rom control led rage" (Cast L i s t ) . The apotheosis o f Thomas , the v i s i o n o f h i m as " a Pr ince o f G o d " (11) is c i rcumscr ibed by his feigned humi l i t y . I f people bel ieve he is a god, it is his "duty to subvert the image" (2). Y e t , he has a lways been a winner i n the eyes o f the pub l ic . H e d i d w e l l through med ica l school and n o w has an enviable med ica l practice. The nurses at the Ca tho l i c hospi tal "adore h i m " (11). H i s father " P . T . Fletcher is a devout C h r i s t i a n " (19), w h o m Thomas has tr ied to emulate. H e has an ambiguous sexual relat ionship w i t h his daughter M i r a n d a (24). H e believes it is "[bjetter to pay for housekeepers and pay for whores" (61), because w o m e n and their emotions get i n the way . W o m e n have "adopted the language o f men, the grammar o f reason, but i t ' s by rote [.. .it is] [m] imick ry [sic], l i ke ch impanzees" (62). " W o m e n are breeders" (64), nothing more. T h e y are "even further d o w n on the evolut ionary ladder than [men] are [...] They flounder i n a soup o f menstrual b l o o d and emot ion and they want [men] to d r o w n w i t h them" (65). T h o m a s ' disgust o f his wi fe , Isabel, is palpable. " A n d then there are w o m e n l ike Isabel [....] T h e y don ' t even have the instinct to look after their young [...] W h i c h makes them near ly worthless [...] they need to be cont ro l led" (66). M a r k queries h o w Thomas "let[s] it out [.. .his] shit. Eve ryone ' s got it; some [.. .people carry it] closer to the surface, that 's a l l " 43 (15). Thomas releases his anxiety and stress through drink, beating his wi fe and hunt ing. H e denies that he is a savage animal and indeed, he is the most refined on the surface. H o w e v e r , underneath his veneer lies a brutal k i l l e r . S e t t i n g Vancouve r , B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a . Present day, over the course o f many months. W i t h simultaneous conversations occurr ing throughout, more than one p l ay ing space at a t ime is often i n use. These simultaneous scenes are not the same length and so the text often moves f rom four voices to two or three. The p l ay ing space must double for many locations. W h i l e this p lay can easi ly be produced as 'poor theatre', changing scenes and spaces p r i m a r i l y through lights and sound, it w o u l d also benefit f rom the hint o f a beautiful ly constructed Wes t Vancouve r home, p lush carpets, w o o d e n beams, r i c h fabrics and colors , and real furniture. The stage is deployed as the Fletcher and the Sugarman l i v i n g spaces, a cafe, M a r k ' s apartment, a mote l , and Ir is ' c o n d o m i n i u m , so ease o f transitions is a must. Scr ims and projections are employed to help reveal loca t ion and to add relevant photography, depict ing character histories, court cases, Isabel 's fantasies and s y m b o l i c paintings. S y n o p s i s Act One L i k e m u c h o f S i m o n s ' work , this two-act p lay is t ruly an ensemble piece. There is no single protagonist; a l l f ive characters are fleshed out ind iv idua ls w i t h distinct voices . The 44 independent counterpoint o f scenes a l lows for a rhythmic and intel lectual jux tapos i t ion o f characters. A s the p lay opens, (see the opening dialogue i n A Point A b o u t Counterpoint) the Sugarmans and the Fletchers are i n their respective bedrooms preparing to meet for the first t ime at the Sugarman 's home i n West Vancouver . A t Ir is 's suggestion, before the p lay proper has begun, M a r k has invi ted the Fletchers to dinner, intending to ask Thomas to appear as the med ica l expert for h i m i n a c r im ina l court case. Th i s opening revela t ion o f the two couples i n their bedrooms succinct ly contrasts their relationships. D u e to the s imultanei ty o f the dialogue, we q u i c k l y see h o w the mari ta l relationships differ. The concurrent scene-work a l lows for a unique k i n d o f juxtapos i t ion that otherwise w o u l d not be present. I f the scenes were p layed one after the other instead o f concurrent ly, the conf l i c t ing personalit ies w o u l d not be as dynamica l ly depicted. The i r s imilar i t ies and differences w o u l d not be as c lear ly demarcated. O n the surface, the Fletchers are reserved and pretentious w h i l e the Sugarmans are more earthy and l iberal . Thomas has been brought up "proper ly" i n a powerfu l and respected upper class home w h i l e M a r k is vulgar and crude, su rv iv ing on his street (by w a y o f l a w school) wi ts . Isabel k n o w s that Thomas is i n total control , accepting that every detail o f their l i fe must meet his exact ing standards. Judi th, on the other hand, sees her marriage to M a r k as a partnership. She knows where the cheque book is and to w h o m to wri te the b i l l s . She believes that she and M a r k "respect each other; [that they are] peers" (30). 45 T h i s b r i e f opening sequence i n w h i c h we see the home life o f the two couples sets the audience up for a series o f character reversals. S imons has Judi th asking her husband for c lo th ing advice , want ing to help h i m achieve his goal o f impressing the Fletchers. In part, this shows a lack o f the self-reliance and mora l judgment that eventual ly becomes the m a i n source o f her power throughout the play. Isabel, on the other hand, tries to c o m m a n d Thomas to change his jacket. Y e t , it is on ly through her ro le -p lay ing that Isabel can actual ly exert any k i n d o f control over Thomas . She has no power over h i m as his wi fe , but i n character she at least has the power to seduce. The l ights rise o n the who le stage and the couples f l u id ly come together. It is after dinner, t ime has passed. Through the remainder o f the dinner party, the two couples verba l ly spar, s i z ing each other up. Thomas praises his w i fe ' s beauty and s k i l l , but apologet ica l ly comments o n Isabel 's lack o f intel l igence and overwrought imagina t ion . M a r k praises his w i fe ' s intellect, but admonishes her for her overpower ing l ife force and her sexual neglect o f h i m . The m e n leave and eventual ly end up i n another r o o m p lay ing p i n g pong . W h e n the m e n have gone, Judi th moves into the k i tchen i n order to prepare dessert. T h i s affords Isabel t ime alone onstage. She performs a monologue about the greatness o f Thomas , and h o w a w o m a n ' s most important j o b is to provide a supportive home-l i fe for her husband. Af te r p i n g pong , M a r k brings out his secret stash o f pot. Thomas declines to indulge. A s M a r k smokes the marijuana, Judi th brings cognac for her and Isabel to p rev iew before dessert. W h i l e she s l o w l y sips her drink, Isabel dr inks rather heavi ly . Th i s counterpoint o f v ices 46 succinc t ly juxtaposes the addictive nature o f each ind iv idua l . Here , M a r k and Isabel 's over- indulgence is contrasted w i t h Judith and Thomas ' s reserve. The differ ing attitudes o f male / female perspectives are also contrasted: I S A B E L : So many people w i l t , don ' t they? B u t your husband is l ike m i n e . . . M A R K : W e can w o r k up a sweat . . . [by p l ay ing p i n g pong] . I S A B E L : They ' r e not the least bit concerned about populari ty, either o f them. M A R K : I t ' l l g ive the gir ls t ime to compare recipes. . .He serves; Thomas returns. I S A B E L : They ' r e men o f conscience. M A R K : . . .and stretchmarks. Mark's game is at first casual; he expects an easy victory. I S A B E L : N o t many o f those anymore. Wi thou t se l f interest, real ly. M A R K : Y o u r s . (11) The i rony o f this counterpoint is that these "men o f conscience" belit t le their w i v e s b y i m p l y i n g that they w i l l have nothing better to talk about than domest ic realities. T h e i r wel l -mannered game o f p ing pong q u i c k l y turns into an a l l out battle w h i c h undercuts their ch iva l ry , be ly ing the female be l i e f that they are entirely wi thout se l f interest. In this 47 scene, M a r k ' s anger is d isplayed as he throws a p i n g pong paddle over a lo s ing point . H i s qu i ck temper and outward d isplay o f emot ion is contrasted w i t h the reserved control o f Thomas . Thomas appears to keep a l l his anger and anxiety inside, though i t becomes apparent as the p lay progresses that he takes out his ire on Isabel. A g a i n , i n this opening sequence, S imons plays w i t h our in i t ia l understanding o f these characters i n order to deepen the impact as their true natures come to the fore. W e dismiss M a r k for his hotheaded temper and v i e w Thomas as the paragon o f c i v i l i t y , yet later the horr i f ic truth about Thomas comes out and M a r k real ly does not seem so bad i n compar ison . A s Isabel forces compar i son between her husband and Judi th ' s , we see M a r k fa l l short as the ideal spouse: I S A B E L : There ' s no-one I k n o w w h o listens l ike Thomas . Excep t maybe Jamie; he 's our eldest. Mark goes to the freezer. M A R K : (A stage whisper) Fletcher. H e y ! I S A B E L : Is M a r k l i ke that? M A R K : C o m e look! J U D I T H : N o t quite. M A R K : There she i s . . . m y w i f e ' s psyche. O r maybe her soul [...] I wonder what w o u l d happen i f I left the door open . . .(14) 48 Metaphor i ca l l y , M a r k does leave the door o f his w i fe ' s psyche open. It is a s l o w thaw, but through the course o f the play, Judi th awakens to the reali ty o f her marriage. T h r o u g h his phi lander ing and f ami l i a l denial , M a r k opens the door for Judi th to d iscover her desperate need for acknowledgement . M a r k s ' s g rowing f ami l i a l neglect gives Judi th the rationale to f ina l ly admit the truth about her husband. W h e n the couples come together again, it is Judi th who brings up the real reason w h y the guests were inv i ted for dinner. M a r k has been h i red by a w o m a n whose negligent doctor, w h i l e per forming an unauthorized hysterectomy, also "sewed her bladder to her s tomach w a l l " (17). H e wants a surgeon to be his medica l expert for the case. Thomas leaves the dinner party agreeing to th ink about M a r k ' s offer though he realizes that the doctor i n quest ion (named "The R i p p e r " by M a r k ) is a formidable foe. Thomas had f i led a compla in t against this doctor before, but "his patient, the one h e ' d c r i pp l ed" (18) ended up defending h i m and the case was dropped. W h e n the party breaks up and the couples are once again shown i n their respective homes, we see c lear ly that neither marriage is as copasetic as the couples have ou tward ly projected dur ing dinner. The i r bragging and bolstering are seen as a front to cover the d isharmony that is t ruly at the base o f each relationship. In fact, both couples have major problems o f isola t ion, v i c t imiza t ion and desperation. W h i l e M a r k feels that Judi th has turned f rom h i m , g i v i n g a l l she has to her chi ldren , Isabel resents (wi th good cause) the 49 relat ionship between Thomas and their two chi ldren , especial ly their daughter, M i r a n d a (see Themat ic Dev ices be low) . Isabel manages to seduce Thomas i n the character o f L a D a m e Dangereuse despite his admonishment that Judith "thought [she] was a f o o l " (22). M a r k tries to seduce Judi th , but i n the end admits that a l l he needs is " a w a r m body next to [h im]" (21). M a r k and Judi th fight over their conf l ic t ing needs and emotions. B o t h couples end up m a k i n g love , to the satisfaction o f the males only . Judi th denies that she does it out o f "du ty" (24), but she does not feel intimate w i t h her husband. Isabel 's intention is to please Thomas i n order to prevent h i m f rom wander ing to any other woman . A t the end o f this scene, M i r a n d a cries out due to a bad dream. Thomas goes to her against Isabel 's wishes . Isabel pushes hersel f further into fantasy, dancing as the operatic heroine, C a r m e n , as a means o f be ing i n "denia l o f what is happening i n the bedroom downstai rs" (24). Themat i ca l ly speaking, regarding the chi ldren , S imons counterpoints Isabel 's renunciat ion: "I don ' t care for m y ch i ld ren" (34), against Judi th ' s pr ior i t iza t ion , where she places the needs o f her chi ldren above the needs and desires o f her husband. E v e n though Judi th admits to Iris that M a r k "needs" her, that "[w]i thout [her] he w o u l d n ' t exis t" (26), she does not t ruly bel ieve this true. She is almost prescient w i t h the knowledge that M a r k w i l l betray her and so she protects herself f rom h i m by w i t h d r a w i n g her emot ional dependency f rom her husband and p lac ing it onto the chi ldren. 50 A s Isabel 's dancing scene fades, it is replaced by Judi th and Iris hav ing coffee. Jud i th tells Iris o f a recurr ing dream i n w h i c h M a r k pul l s o f f a mask that is "dest roying h i m " , yet w h e n he does, "[h]e died; there was no face under the mask" (24). Iris, a self-appointed "orac le" (28), tries to get Judi th to see M a r k ' s phi lander ing, but Judi th remains i n denia l . She turns on Iris, objecting to the fact that Iris sleeps w i t h marr ied men. Judi th c la ims that even i n her dreams, she has never "betrayed" (25) M a r k . W h i l e Judi th goes o n to defend her relat ionship and M a r k ' s mari ta l neglect, o n the other side o f the stage, M a r k shows Thomas his apartment i n town. Th i s counterpoint again sets up the male / female dialect ic : Judi th defends her marriage and denies any problems w h i l e w e see a pr ideful M a r k f launting his adulterous ways. H e has, i n fact, inv i ted over some "professionals" to celebrate their v ic to ry i n the courts against the "R ippe r " . M a r k offers Thomas a share i n the apartment to seal their w o r k i n g relationship. Thomas questions M a r k about the meaning o f just ice, a recurr ing theme i n the play, and M a r k brings up the next case he is w o r k i n g on: an East Indian father and son murdered their n iece /cous in because she w e d wi thout their permiss ion w h i l e her father remained i n India. T h e y c l a i m they k i l l e d her and her husband as an act o f just ice and pride, not passion. T h i s touches a chord w i t h contemporary, topica l issues o f mul t icu l tura l i sm. In fact, the B . C . Supreme Cour t has just found M r . Raj inder A t w a l gui l ty o f the murder o f his Indo-Canadian daughter, s la in due to an unsanctioned romance (Bellett , V a n c o u v e r S u n A l ) . M a r k and Iris r emind us that a defense l awyer ' s j o b is to defend the accused to the letter o f the l aw. In their op in ion , legal just ice cannot, and ought not, to be equated w i t h personal or e thical just ice . 51 M e a n w h i l e , Judi th and Iris have f inished their meet ing and Isabel explains that she "existfs] for Thomas W i l l i a m Fle tcher" and that a " w o m a n ' s duty is to inspire, w h i c h means to change and change again. [...] W h e n Thomas enters [their] bedroom, he never k n o w s w h o h e ' l l f ind wa i t ing for h i m " (36). Isabel teases Thomas that she's be ing stalked. She purposely provokes h i m to v io lence and kisses the hand that strikes her. Judi th wai ts up for M a r k who has just returned f rom a business tr ip. She thinks he has not been co l lec t ing fees f rom his clients and she feels he has been ignor ing the f ami ly . Judi th accuses M a r k o f hav ing an affair. A s he gives her excuses for be ing away f rom the fami ly , the scene splits and Iris enters a mote l room. Iris acts as an omnipotent presence hearing the argument between the couple and interjecting her thoughts, w h i c h on ly M a r k hears. The scene continues w i t h M a r k p l ay ing to both w o m e n . H e ends up naked i n the mote l r o o m w i t h Iris as Judi th leaves. Thomas and Isabel act out another fantasy. T h i s t ime, Thomas dominates. H e phys i ca l ly hurts Isabel and her p la in t ive c ry bleeds into the scene w i t h M a r k and Iris i n the mote l r o o m though they are ob l i v ious to her pa in . T h e y talk about the East Indian case as Iris w i l l defend the son w h i l e M a r k defends the father. T h e y seduce each other. Act Two Thomas tells Isabel o f the cutbacks to his operating t ime. H i s monologue is f i l l ed w i t h personal paranoia. It is ambiguous whether the "he" that "was wa tch ing through the observat ion glass" (53) dur ing a surgery i n w h i c h Thomas lost a patient is the " R i p p e r " i T h o m a s ' s deceased father. It is rea l ly the first t ime that we see the cracks i n T h o m a s ' s 52 smooth veneer. H e is n o w dr ink ing and popping p i l l s o n a regular basis, unable to reconci le his prestigious reputation w i t h his internal g rowing confusion and self-doubt. The male compet i t ion i n this p lay is set up as a tug o f war over their ab i l i ty to control their w i l l . M a r k wins because Thomas becomes more l ike M a r k than v i ce versa. In other words , M a r k teaches Thomas to "hunt t a i l " and "hunt i n the cour t room", but Thomas never takes M a r k to the forest to hunt his type o f game. In the end, Thomas becomes more m o r a l l y corrupt than M a r k cou ld ever dream. Whether it is a conscious effort or not, M a r k liberates Fletcher f rom the bonds o f societal correctness. H e th inks that i f he can b r ing Thomas d o w n to his mora l level as far as adultery and legal i ty are concerned, then it w i l l prove that M a r k is not such a bad guy after a l l . In other words , i f M a r k can convince this paragon o f virtue to have an affair, w h o can blame the "lesser" M a r k for do ing so? " S o w h a ' d ' y a think [of the apartment]? F r o m me to you , extras inc luded . One month free rent; then an even split. Cons ider it, Fle tcher" (27). A n d Thomas does consider it. In fact, by the end o f the p lay , the apartment is shared by the two men . M a r k convinces Thomas that " [w]omen l ike to nourish, men l ike to screw" (30), though this has not been Thomas ' s mari ta l experience, un t i l now. E v e n Thomas ' s v i e w o f h i m s e l f at the beginning o f act two can be seen as M a r k ' s v i s i o n o f h i m instead o f his own . E a r l y on i n the play, M a r k tells Thomas that as a l awyer he is " i n theatre [....] The cour t room is a k i n d o f theatre [.. .whi le Thomas is] more l i ke an engineer" (31). In act two, Thomas tells us he is an "inefficient engineer" (54), e m p l o y i n g M a r k ' s te rminology. Th i s subtly shows M a r k ' s control over Thomas . H e 53 sways T h o m a s ' s personal op in ion . H e brings h i m d o w n to a level o f mora l degradation that Thomas w o u l d have opposed his entire l i fe . M a r k gives too m u c h o f h i m s e l f away, Thomas keeps too m u c h o f h i m s e l f tucked inside. U l t ima te ly , M a r k ' s w a y is superior. H e m a y cheat o n his wi fe , but he does not murder her. Isabel promises Thomas that she w i l l never leave h i m . In her new condo, Iris f ina l ly tells Judi th, i n no uncertain terms, that M a r k is unfaithful. The next scene occurs i n the apartment that M a r k and Thomas n o w share. Once again, Iris acts as an omniscient presence, comment ing o n the conversat ion between the two m e n al though they do not hear her. M a r k guides Thomas i n the art o f dece iv ing his wi fe . Thomas tells M a r k that Isabel has left h i m and discovers that M a r k already k n e w and advised her against it. T h e y have invi ted "profess ional" w o m e n over again. A c r o s s the stage, Isabel has j o i n e d Iris. Isabel fears, as she undresses for Iris, that w h e n she is divested o f her mask o f clothes and j ewe l ry she w i l l disappear altogether. She fears that her outer accoutrements define her, without them she is nothing. W h e n the w o m e n exit , Judi th begins a monologue about the secret wa lks she takes i n order to ogle construct ion workers . In this monologue she speaks o f herself as " I " and also as "she". In other words , she splits herself into the third person so that she m a y remain "respectable" (72). A l t h o u g h she is beginning to let her social constraints relax, she is s t i l l acutely aware o f her mora l r ig id i ty . 54 M a r k and Judi th are at home. Judi th has discovered that they have a f ina l notice o n their mortgage and their accounts have been drained. She learns that M a r k has had another f ami ly for s ix years. M a r k tries to convince Judi th not to break up their marriage. H e uses photos o f the murdered Indian couple to illustrate h o w he has protected Judi th f rom the "real w o r l d " (82). Thomas enters the other side o f the stage w i t h a gift for Isabel. H e has forgotten that she has left h i m . A s he drinks, he regresses and we learn that his "perfect" father was abusive toward h i m as a c h i l d . B y the end o f his speech, he decides to give his gift o f j e w e l r y to M i r a n d a instead. Th rough his act ion o f taking a costume be long ing to Isabel, he indicates that he intends to place his daughter into the role that his wife w i l l f u l l y vacated. A t the very end o f the scene, after Judi th tells M a r k that their marriage is over and that he must move out o f the f ami ly home, we learn that Isabel has gone back to Thomas because "she k n o w s when she's got it g o o d " (82). Thomas and Isabel are at home. Isabel is dressed, by an omnipotent Iris, as one o f her med ieva l characters. Isabel is no longer i n the present. H e r m i n d has receded to the w o o i n g r i tual between her and Thomas . She is entirely i n the w o r l d o f fantasy. Thomas begs that Isabel see h i m for w h o he is , but he a l lows Iris to dress h i m i n per iod costume matching what Isabel wears. H e jo ins i n her game o f cour t ly romance and, for a b r i e f moment , we are led to bel ieve that perhaps Isabel w i l l come out o f this abusive relat ionship v ic tor ious ly . Projected o n a screen, photos o f Isabel depict her as a number o f h is tor ica l and theatrical characters. W h e n the lights go out, however , w e hear Thomas savagely beat Isabel to death (see Themat ic Dev ices be low) . 55 M a r k tells Thomas that Iris w o u l d be a better choice as his defense l awyer for the murder o f Isabel. Iris tells Judi th h o w she "washed and prepared" (84) Isabel 's body . Judi th asks h o w she can accept Thomas as a client, again showing the disconnect between personal , m o r a l and legal just ice. The characters del iver their f inal l ines to the audience as a bitter and i ronic mora l i ty lesson, reminiscent o f the mora l coda i n the opera Don Giovanni. The o n l y one w h o appears to have gained any insight is Judith. It is i m p l i e d that she has left M a r k ; however , she fears more than ever for the future o f her chi ldren. She cannot reconci le I r is ' s choice to defend Thomas w i t h her knowledge that he k i l l e d Isabel, or at least, drove her to her death. Isabel comes back from the dead to reaffirm her love for Thomas and to defend their relat ionship. Thematic Devices Violence Depicted Through Metaphor now you see it...is a dark, v iolent play. Surpr is ingly , S imons does not avo id v io lence onstage l i ke many o f her feminist counterparts. Instead, she uses the device o f metaphor for the most ha r rowing o f her violent events. W h i l e we do see scenes i n w h i c h Thomas hits Isabel, and one scene i n w h i c h he drugs her, the two most v io lent scenes that take place i n the Fletcher household become h igh ly theatrical. These two scenes i n part icular exempl i fy S i m o n s ' s creativi ty and dramaturgical manipula t ion. The first deals w i t h incest and the second w i t h murder. 56 Afte r Isabel has seduced and satisfied her husband, Thomas , their daughter M i r a n d a is heard c r y i n g o f f stage, hav ing awoken f rom a bad dream. Thomas exits the bedroom to go to M i r a n d a instead o f staying w i t h his wife , heeding her phys ica l and emot iona l pleas. U p o n his leaving, there is a "[s]tomping sound in the dark; clapping, castanets, guitar. [.:.] ISABEL as CARMEN, in gypsy costume [...] begins to dance [,...] a denial of what is happening in the bedroom downstairs" (24). B y hav ing Isabel become C a r m e n , S imons evokes the image o f Isabel as "erotic, mysterious, jealous, passionate [...] and ul t imate ly d o o m e d " (P lo tk in 294). The issue o f incest remains fa i r ly ambiguous throughout the play. It is clear that Isabel feels she is los ing her husband to her daughter, but instead o f f ight ing to help either her husband or her daughter, Isabel recedes into her w o r l d o f fantasy. Since the incest is never over t ly depicted on stage, h o w a product ion chooses to read its ambigui ty is important. A s it is also one o f the most theatrical moments , the handl ing o f this scene was a major topic i n our workshop. The second scene, i n w h i c h S imons uses dance as a metaphor for v io lence , comes near the end o f the play. Judi th has just confronted M a r k about his adulterous affair and discovers that it is worse than she imagined: M a r k has a s ix-year o l d daughter f rom another relat ionship. H e says, " I f y o u insist o n a d ivorce , I ' l l destroy y o u i n the courts" and he "lays out bloody photos [.. A from the East Indian murder trial, they appear on the screens" (81). H e also informs Judi th that Isabel has gone back to Thomas because "she k n o w s w h e n she's got it good" (82). The murder images remain on the screen throughout a scene w i t h Thomas and Isabel un t i l they are supplanted w i t h images re inforc ing Isabel 's fantasy l i fe . 57 Isabel s l o w l y , w i t h the help o f Iris, dresses i n an "embroidered ball gown" w h i l e Thomas sl ips into " a goldbraid Napoleonic style jacket" (83): THOMAS, smiling now and in period character, bows and offers Isabel his arm. [...] She's swept up by her partner in dance. One by one, ISABEL's self fantasies replace most of the bloody screen images. [...] ISABEL in heavy medieval robes; ISABEL as Cleopatra; [...] as Joan of Arc; as Lady Macbeth... [...] Gradually the lights focus on... ISABEL alone, then the lights bleed into darkness until, as in 'black Czech theatre', only her jewelry, sequins on her costume, and finally... Only ISABEL's red mouth, rouge and heavy eye makeup show under the lights. Blackout. A woman's brief scream; a man's scream... T H O M A S : (A long cry) Waaaaaaste! M A R K : The facts are s i m p l e . . . Lights up: The two sets of characters together as shown below. M A R K : The body was discovered at 7:45 A M . T H O M A S : She betrayed me. M A R K : There was no attempt to hide the evidence. T H O M A S : She to ld me she 'd never leave me. I R I S : I washed and prepared her. T H O M A S : I d idn ' t mean to sp i l l her. 58 I R I S : I insisted o n it; she's had enough m e n handle her i n l ife (84). W e come to real ize that the waste, to w h i c h Thomas refers, is Isabel 's final placement o f her j ewe l s as quoted earlier. S i m o n s ' use o f metaphor and theatricality for the most v iolent , ha r rowing scenes i n the p lay reinforces the idea that it is up to the audience to make the f ina l mora l judgments. Since w e do not see Thomas murder Isabel, there is an ambigui ty surrounding whether or not her death was suicide or murder. T h i s is also a h i g h l y theatrical moment i n the script, and therefore, i n the workshop w e spent t ime discuss ing the p l ay ing and technical concept ion o f this point i n the play. The two most di f f icul t scenes to stage i n this text, aside f rom the m y r i a d o f simultaneous ones, are the most in te l lectual ly ambiguous. S imons strategically uses metaphor to further remove us f rom, and confuse us about, the truth. Since M i r a n d a is an offstage presence, the audience must decide whether or not Thomas behaves sexual ly inappropriately towards her. A s we watch her mother dance as a fo rm o f denial , we are both entertained and repulsed at the same t ime. S imons uses this metaphor as a device to encourage thought o n behal f o f the audience. She does not answer these questions, but rather, leaves them open-ended so that each audience member m a y take his or her o w n mora l stance. Gender Roles Simons employs gender roles as a device for deal ing w i t h labeled identities such as mother, father and non-progenitor. They are far too complex to be passed o f f s tereotypical ly as those that are persecuted or "brut ish" (Kareda) . The two mothers presented i n this p l ay are t ied to their husbands through "economic dependence", w h i c h 59 Iris sees as "obedience school unt i l y o u die: a choke col lar may be fancy but it s t i l l chokes" (56). B o t h Judi th and Isabel stay at home to raise their k ids , but for different reasons. Judi th believes that it is "[bjetter to do [her] o w n socia l w o r k [...] so others w o n ' t need to later" though she is m o c k e d by Iris for spouting the "par ty- l ine" (56). Judi th ' s sentiments do raise a v a l i d issue, yet S imons undercuts this va l id i ty b y turning it into i rony. B y the end o f the p lay , Judi th has separated f rom M a r k . In other words , by g i v i n g up her career i n order to remain at home for her f ami ly , she ends up al ienat ing hersel f and her husband. H a d she continued w i t h her career, perhaps she and M a r k w o u l d have found a w a y through their problems, rather than turning away f rom each other. H e w o u l d not have v i e w e d her as a f inancial burden, but as an equal contributor to their economic w e l l being. Instead o f creating the equal partnership that she professes to have w i t h M a r k , Judi th transfers a l l o f her love and attention to her chi ldren. The real quest ion is w h o pu l l ed away first? Isabel, o n the other hand, hates her chi ldren. She v i ews them as "[accidental byproducts" o f marriage (35). She is k i l l e d by her husband and the real tragedy is that she believes that she deserves it. Despite leaving Thomas , she goes back to h i m . A l t h o u g h she has learned that there are other ways to show love , speci f ica l ly through her relat ionship w i t h Iris, Thomas ' emotional c o m m a n d o f her proves too m u c h . T h i s tragic co-dependency means that though she is admired for something she is very good at, be ing chameleon- l ike i n her role o f wi fe , she o n l y transforms herself i n order to menta l ly escape her l ife o f abuse. A s she witnesses her husband's attention move f rom hersel f to 60 her daughter M i r a n d a , instead o f her protective instincts r i s ing to shie ld M i r a n d a f rom his abuse, she becomes jealous and spiteful towards her daughter. There is also a difference i n the male dominat ion o f their chi ldren. M a r k bel ieves that h is k ids w i l l come l o o k i n g for h i m i f he leaves Judi th, yet he battles w i t h them over every request: " I f I ask m y k ids to brush their teeth, they give me a debate" (68). Fundamenta l ly , he lets them d o w n as a father. H e may provide monetary comforts , but he is not emot iona l ly avai lable to his fami ly . H e has pu l l ed away f rom them and is frustrated that they no longer regard h i m as the hero o f their l ives . Judi th is w i l l i n g to give up her isolated West V a n c o u v e r home i n order to make things easier for h i m , yet M a r k refuses. The real quest ion is whether or not M a r k bought them a home so far r emoved i n order to have them out o f the way . L i k e his o w n father, M a r k o n l y comes a l ive w h e n there are other people around to appreciate the show. H i s wi fe and ch i ld ren c lear ly do not qual i fy as an audience. Thomas a l lows his ch i ldren to belittle their mother. In his m i n d , Isabel is a bad influence on them. H e spends his money o n beautifying her through l av i sh costumes and j ewe l ry . H o w e v e r , he regards her emot ional capabili t ies and her intellect as negl ig ib le . In the rearing o f the chi ldren , he demands complete control . W h i l e Thomas verba l ly shows the utmost respect to his deceased father, we come to learn that this respect was engendered out o f fear, not out o f love . H i s parents were abusive to h i m , he abuses his wi fe , and so the cyc le continues. Isabel is not at a l l surprised when she admits to Iris that M i r a n d a 61 " laughed at [her]; then [...] slapped [her]" and c l a imed that " i t was her turn to col lec t j e w e l r y " (66). A s a b i -sexual , Iris resides i n the l i m i n a l space between m a n and w o m a n . S imons embodies this by hav ing Iris cross over into scenes that she w o u l d otherwise not be a part of, nor present for. W h i l e she is the strongest feminist vo ice w i t h i n the play, w e are shown that her w a y is far f rom ideal . She c la ims that she w i l l never settle d o w n , nor have chi ldren. She defends Thomas , the m a n who murdered her friend, by saying that she's " a l awyer [...] not a judge. [...] M e n have looked after us for centuries. It 's our turn n o w " (85). C lea r ly , S imons intends the i rony that comes w i t h this l ine . Iris can l o o k after herself monetar i ly , be total ly self-reliant, yet her mora l and ethical stances are often negat ively depicted as when she defends her fr iend's murderer. W h e n Judi th accuses her o f not be ing able to "understand what it means to raise a f ami ly" , Iris insists she does, "that's w h y [she] choose[s] not to reproduce" (56). She does not want to become f inanc ia l ly or emot ional ly dependant o n any man. In her deconstruction o f what cou ld be regarded as stereotypes, S imons uses these ve ry specific and ubiqui tous gender roles to provide an i ron ic , dark undercurrent to this domest ic drama. She a l lows her audience to empathize on ly up to a point. T r a n s f o r m a t i v e M a s k s " L o t s o f makeup, that's it. M a y b e they w o n ' t notice i t ' s a mask f loat ing over a v o i d " (S imons , Prepar ing 32). 62 In S i m o n s ' p lay , w e observe both the private and pub l ic masks o f her characters. A s they transform and transit ion f rom one to another, we see h o w S imons unmasks them. T h r o u g h this deconstruction o f the social mask, S imons seeks to engage the audience i n considerat ion o f their o w n mask-making . Now you see it... is a decidedly uncomfortable piece o f theatre, but S imons does not write comfortable or easy plays. She intends to challenge the status quo, and through her deployment o f the socia l mask, she does so. Isabel F le tcher ' s mask m a y be the most psycho log ica l ly chal lenging, but its manifestat ion is the most overt. She dresses up i n costumes and "becomes" the great w o m e n i n history. H e r transformation into other w o m e n is her form o f denial , act ing as a barrier between her emot ional integrity and the phys ica l abuse she suffers at the hands o f her husband, and later, her daughter. Before mar ry ing Thomas , Isabel was an actress. Therefore, her abi l i ty to transform is second nature to her. W h i l e she is able to l ive i n the s k i n o f a character, the reali ty is that her actual body has been demarcated as T h o m a s ' property. Isabel says, "[t]hey used to ca l l l ice 'god ' s pearls ' , i n the so-cal led D a r k A g e s ; d i d y o u k n o w that? M y j ewe l ry is richer. [...] It 's imbedded i n the sk in . [...] These are god ' s kisses. M o r e beautiful than rubies. . .emeralds. . .or diamonds [....] H e adorns m e " (66). W h i l e Iris "guessed at th is" (64), Isabel is so adept at her mask-wear ing that un t i l she chooses to unmask herself, her abusive situation remains secret. Judi th ' s mask is that o f socia l moral i ty . It is the most subtle, and therefore, very hard to demarcate. Th rough her social conscience, she makes M a r k "c red ib le" (33). The r ig id i ty 63 o f this mask leaves Judi th isolated and lonely. N o one is able to l ive up to her ethical code, and though she believes that she and M a r k are e thical ly a l igned, she comes to learn the truth. A l t h o u g h she has emot ional ly broken away f rom her relat ionship w i t h M a r k , she is unable to f ind the emot ional and sexual fulf i l lment she deserves because, u l t imately , she must remain "respectable" (72). W h e n she f ina l ly a l lows hersel f to re lax her exact ing perfectionist standards however , she is not able to do it as ' Jud i t h ' ; instead she splits hersel f into the third person. W i t h i n this mora l boundary and the safety o f pos i t ion ing hersel f as ' she ' however , Judi th is o n the p r o w l : In search o f m e n at w o r k [...,] I, she and I [...] hide inside m y body. [...] I admire and hunger for theirs. [...] M u s c l e d and energetic. [...] A m i x o f races [....] The i r supple, w a r m skin . She can smel l them. . . smel l and taste what they might be l ike [....] That ' s when she moves on. [...] W e are respectable, she and I. (72) O f a l l the characters, Judi th is the most reluctant to change. She is apprehensive to divest hersel f o f the socia l and ethical mask o f mora l i ty she wears. T h o m a s ' mask is one o f elegance and refinement. H i s veneer o f c i v i l i t y hides a monster w i th in . O n the surface, he leads the perfect l i fe . H e knows the right wines and what to pair them wi th . H e has a prestigious j o b as a surgeon and is w e l l respected i n his re l ig ious c i rc le . H e is a golden boy who comes from the perfect fami ly . H e can wear the best clothes and most expensive suits, but underneath it a l l he is a k i l l e r . M o r e than any other character i n this p lay , S imons a l lows us to see the cracks i n the smooth veneer. H i s soc ia l mask l i teral ly crumbles before us. S imons moves us f rom envy o f Thomas to disgust. In this way , the device o f the socia l mask is used to epi tomize the c l iche , ' y o u 64 cannot judge a book by its cover ' . E v e n M a r k is d i smayed to f ind that Thomas was not raised " l i k e a prince w i t h polo shirts and caviar served to [him] by a vale t" (69). In fact, his first impress ion o f Thomas was that he had "so m u c h snot up [his] nose [that M a r k was] surprised [that Thomas does not] choke o n i t " (19). The mask that we are f ina l ly left w i t h i n regard to Thomas is a paradoxical one. H e is both wounded c h i l d and murderer. In his f inal pleas to Isabel before her death, he begs her to "(Like a child) T o u c h T o m m y " (83). In his admiss ion o f guil t to M a r k over the murder o f his w i fe , he c la ims that he "d idn ' t mean to s p i l l Isabel" (84), a decidedly ch i ld - l i ke verbiage. In the end, however , he transfers the blame onto his v i c t i m . H e questions " w h y she d idn ' t f ight" (87) to save her l i fe . Because o f his mul t ip le life roles, M a r k ' s mask is the hardest to identify. H e can be stripped naked phys i ca l ly , but never emot ional ly . H e is a l l mask. H e c la ims that there is "noth ing at [his] core but what [Judith] puts there" (47). L i k e his dad, he comes a l ive around other people and i n his professional dealings he is dynamic . Y e t , pa tho logica l ly , he cannot be alone. W h i l e Judi th is comfortable w i t h , and desirous of, i sola t ion, M a r k must be i n constant contact w i t h the outside w o r l d . H i s character is the most conf l ic ted and hypocr i t i ca l . W h i l e Thomas ' mask o f superiori ty is p roven to be a l ie by his murderous actions, M a r k actually believes his o w n humi l i ty . H e l ives his life t ry ing one tactic after another un t i l he gets his way . Th i s is most expl ic i t w h e n Judi th threatens to leave h i m . H e moves between threats and pleas, and f ina l ly resorts to outright v ic iousness i n his attempt to keep his f ami ly together. The most cha l lenging aspect o f 65 M a r k ' s character is that ul t imately he is the most charismatic and humorous character i n the p lay . W e must both love and loathe M a r k , often w i t h i n the same page o f dia logue. I r i s ' mask is that o f a radical feminist. She believes herself to be the new modern w o m a n . A k i n to her bi-sexual i ty , Iris can cross boundaries i n this p lay that others cannot. In this way , S imons uses Ir is ' sexuali ty as a strategic device to l i tera l ly expose the embodiment o f I r is ' dual nature. L i k e M a r k , we often love and loathe Iris i n the same moment . W h i l e we admire the fact that she believes that "[m]en have l ooked after [women long enough]. It's our turn n o w " (85) to look after ourselves, the very idea that she w o u l d take Thomas as a client is disturbing. W h i l e we respect her dec i s ion not to have a f a m i l y because the "dynamics w o u l d change" (29), we cannot help but th ink her u l t imate ly doomed to a lone ly l ife without emot ional bond or f ami l i a l gratif ication. I r is ' dual natures are reflected i n the simultaneous scene structure o f the play. T h i s is h o w and w h y she is able to act as an omniscient presence i n many o f the scenes. She is also the enabler. She dresses Isabel i n her costume at the end, repeating the role that she p l ayed i n Isabel 's l i fe as an actress. She enables Judi th 's d iscovery o f M a r k ' s inf ide l i ty . She acts as sounding board to M a r k , and her sexual conquests are equal to his o w n . A n d i n the end, she w i l l defend Thomas i n his murder t r ia l . S i m o n s ' constant mask ing and unmasking o f characters, t ransforming their m o r a l and personal codes before our eyes, is a c lever device that forces the audience members to take note o f their o w n socia l masks. Once again, S i m o n s ' strategy is intended to challenge her audience. H e r p lay is uncomfortable. It is not easy or romant ic . W h i l e the 66 characters resemble our friends and neighbors, it depicts the worst part o f their personalit ies. These characters are the type o f people that we hope w e do not resemble. W e do not want to see ourselves reflected back i f they are the reflect ion offered. H o w e v e r , this is a strategy on the part o f S imons . I f we do identify, even i n some sma l l way , w i t h the characters, it can be imagined that when we leave the theatre, we w i l l make a concerted effort to change. Whether intentional or not, S i m o n s ' theatre is deeply po l i t i ca l . It forces us to th ink cr i t ica l ly about our o w n actions and judgments . M a n y o f these personal and socia l issues, and S imons ' intent i n inc lud ing them, came to the fore i n our workshop o f the play. T h e W o r k s h o p O n February 19, 2005, Meta . for Theatre Society arranged for a day- long workshop o f now you see it.... A s w e l l as the five actors, Tr is tan H a m , Leanne K o e h n , James R o w l e y , A n g e l a Ferre i ra and C y n n a m o n Schreinert, board members and friends were also inv i ted to engage i n the readings and subsequent discussions. The actors were p rov ided w i t h scripts a few weeks i n advance o f the reading, g iv ing them t ime to prepare their roles and quest ion some o f the thematic issues and staging requirements o f the text. S ince w e o n l y had one day i n w h i c h to b reakdown and analyze the text as a group, I dec ided that the best use o f t ime w o u l d be to do one fu l l reading, i nc lud ing stage direct ions, f o l l o w e d by a discussion. A second reading, without stage directions fo l lowed , a l l o w i n g the f l o w o f the text to be examined without the technical interruptions. O u r m a i n objective was to see i f the s imultanei ty o f dialogue cou ld function the w a y it was intended. W o u l d the dia logue 67 become mere soundscape? I f it indeed "barely works on the page," c o u l d w e a v o i d it "p l ac ing i ron c lamps around the creativity o f both the actor and the director" (Kareda)? The first quest ion I posed for discuss ion is whether or not the characters and situations were real and log ica l to the w o r l d that S imons created. It was felt that the characters are real. In them, the actors and other workshop participants, ranging across many age groups, economic backgrounds and socia l strata, felt they cou ld see their neighbors, colleagues, and loved ones. The characters resonated as real people. T h e y were eas i ly identif iable, as were their issues and personal complexi t ies . It was felt that S imons emot iona l ly strips her characters o f their socia l masks, bar ing them to the audience i n a w a y that the characters never bare themselves to each other. Fundamental ly , w e are shown that the p r ime s imi la r i ty between humans is that we are a l l i n search o f love and acceptance. The second question was concerned w i t h the p l ay ' s structure and whether or not w e c o u l d "see" h o w the dramaturgy was supposed to function. F o r this, we spec i f ica l ly l o o k e d at the s imultanei ty o f dialogue and the two most v iolent scenes presented through metaphor. O f our listeners, a few found the dialogue easier to f o l l o w o n the second reading o f the text. It was felt that i n the first reading, it took t ime to adjust to the unique de l ive ry o f dialogue. I bel ieve that once this p lay is proper ly rehearsed for product ion, the simultaneous dialogue w i l l become less o f an issue. It w i l l s t i l l take a pe r iod o f adjustment, l ike a c lass ica l or foreign text, but, ul t imately, a director guides an audience to what is most important i n a text. Through b l o c k i n g and the emphasis o f certain k e y 68 l ines, it w i l l be re la t ively easy to f o l l o w the story. The actors d i d not seem to have a p rob lem a l l o w i n g for the counterpoint o f another scene to interrupt their dialogue. In fact, upon hearing the l ine , the meaning created through d ia log ic jux tapos i t ion becomes even more evident. W e spent the most t ime i n d iscuss ion about the metaphorical staging o f the v io lent scenes: T h o m a s ' incestuous relationship w i t h M i r a n d a , and Isabel 's death. W h i l e the group came to a consensus that Thomas was definitely abusing his daughter, whether or not he k i l l s his wife or i f she commits suicide remains ambiguous. In part, this is because the two issues are handled through different d iv i s ive strategies. W e see Thomas take the costume and the gift offstage as he calls for M i r a n d a . W e watch Isabel dance to a v o i d "what is happening i n the bedroom downstairs" (24). Through these actions, w e can take the leap to defini t ive abuse. The murder is more complicated. S imons places a b lackout just before we hear a " w o m a n ' s br ie f scream; a man ' s scream" (84). Af te r Isabel 's death, Judi th is amazed that Iris can "sound proud [.. .t] hat [Isabel] might have done v io lence to h e r s e l f (85). She goes o n to say that perhaps "he d i d it to her. Ei ther way , it was obscene; an obscene act o f cooperat ion between the two o f them" (85). T h r o u g h Judi th , S imons does not a l l o w for a definit ive reading o f Isabel 's death. S imons constructs the death through unseen act ion and confl ic ted dialogue, r emind ing the audience that w e never rea l ly k n o w what happens i n the p r ivacy o f homes other than our o w n . F o r the next workshop o f this play, I w o u l d l ike to have more t ime to w o r k w i t h the actors o n these thematic and dramaturgical complexi t ies . In p rov id ing a f i rmer di rect ion, 69 actual ly s topping and w o r k i n g parts o f the text, we w i l l be able to further elucidate and examine the counterpoint o f dialogue. The rhy thm o f this p lay is strict and must be handled l ike mus ic . now you see it...is dramaturgical ly structured l ike M o z a r t ' s opera Don Giovanni. The rhy thmic l y r i c i s m o f the p l ay ' s dual scene structure carries the same po ignancy and counterpoint o f a duet. In the end, "even i n the face o f death" the characters do not see the errors o f their ways and are metaphorical ly "dragged to h e l l " (Freeman). In both now you see zY...and Don Giovanni "[t]he shifting scenes and act ion [...] make it a real challenge for stage directors" (P lo tk in 256). These factors have not prevented countless product ions o f Don Giovanni over the years. W h i l e now you see it...is cha l lenging i n both its dramaturgy and content, l ike Don Giovanni, "[p]art o f the greatness [...] is that it does not offer easy answers" for audience, actors or director (256). L i k e Don Giovanni, now you see it... is "mysterious, universal , and ha[s] mul t ip le meanings [depending on] each person w h o encounters" it (257). Since the p lay deals w i t h intangible concepts l ike just ice and truth, it is diff icul t to p i n any "correct" response to the behaviors o f S i m o n s ' characters. " W e can debate the impl ica t ions suggested b y its dramatic situations: D o we pay for our sins? C a n sex without love be meaningfu l?" (257). S imons chooses to "present these characters and issues to us, but [she does] not offer an op in ion about them" (257). She leaves that up to the audience. 70 IV. CONCLUSION There is no quest ion that the w o r k o f Beve r l ey R o s e n S imons is chal lenging. It m a y be diff icul t to understand for the average theatre patron. It m a y also be hard for some to find appeal i n S i m o n s ' theatrical style and edgy subject matter. Howeve r , I bel ieve that theatre is meant to challenge us. I f we want things to remain easy, w e can turn o n our te lev is ion sets. Get t ing to the theatre is a challenge i n its o w n right. P h y s i c a l l y l eav ing the comfort o f home, arranging transportation, purchasing tickets and m a k i n g sure y o u are at the theatre before the show starts takes effort. F o r that effort, should the audience be rewarded w i t h l ight, non-meaningful sentiment, or should it be chal lenged to face real issues l i ke personal judgments and social contributions? Th i s is a concept w i t h w h i c h theatre companies grapple every t ime they create the next year 's program. S imons is unapologetic i n her challenge to the audience. I have shown that she offers her director and actors a diff icul t but coherent and t ight ly crafted script, a sense o f the v i sua l elements necessary to produce the p lay , and lines that include the movement and breath o f l i fe i n their rhythm. It is up to the director and actors to properly interpret this offer ing i n order to make it coherent and appealing for an audience. M a n y are u n w i l l i n g to try. Therefore, S i m o n s ' w o r k has litt le hope o f developing an audience wider than those w h o stumble across her out o f intellectual curiosi ty. A t the end o f her thesis, R a b y suggests that maybe " i t is not too late to persuade S imons to b r ing her talent back to the theatre" (291). Y e t , S imons has been t ry ing to find a professional p roduct ion for now you see it... for over ten years. I f she was already 71 discouraged and wi thdrawing f rom theatre when R a b y wrote her thesis i n 1982, this latest inattention m a y very w e l l convince her to stop wr i t i ng for the stage altogether. In m y dramaturgical analysis o f this uniquely demanding script, I have demonstrated that S i m o n s ' complex theatricality and her integration o f contemporary socia l issues into an essentially domest ic drama make her a p laywr ight o f great ab i l i ty and re levancy. I bel ieve that theatre audiences w i l l rise to f i l l the intellectual challenges that w e demand f rom them. C o m i n g out o f the workshop, I a m more conv inced than ever that this p lay is deserving o f a professional product ion. 72 WORKS CITED AND CONSULTED Barber , Ma t thew. Enchanted A p r i l . N e w Y o r k : Dramatists P l a y Service , 2003. Bel le t t , Ger ry . "Father F o u n d G u i l t y . " V a n c o u v e r Sun. 5 M a r c h . 2005: A l . " A B i o g r a p h i c a l Check l i s t . " Canadian Theatre R e v i e w 9 (1976): 28-29. B l a c k , M a l c o l m . "The Strange U n h a p p y L i f e o f Crabdance." Canad ian Theatre R e v i e w 9 ( 1 9 7 6 ) : 9-17. Brocket t , Oscar , and F r a n k l i n H i l d y . H i s to ry o f the Theatre. 9 t h ed. Bos ton : A l l y n and B a c o n , 2003 . E y r e , R i c h a r d . " F e m m e fatale." Guard ian U n l i m i t e d B o o k s . 5 M a r c h , 2005. F r a y n , M i c h a e l . Copenhagen. N e w Y o r k : A n c h o r B o o k s , 1998. Freeman, John. Opera Synopsis : Don Giovanni. 14 Feb. 2005 <http:/ /www.metopera.org/synopses/giovanni.html>. H a y , Peter. " B e v e r l e y S imons : A n Introduction." Canadian Theatre R e v i e w 9 (1976): 6-8-Kareda , Ur jo . Letter to the author's agent. 15 N o v . 1994. Lis ter , Ro ta . " B e v e r l e y S imons and the Influence o f Orienta l Theatre." Canad ian D r a m a . V o l . 10 N o . 2 (1984): 218-226. M o r r o w , M a r t i n . W i l d Theatre: T h e H i s t o r y o f One Y e l l o w Rabbi t . Banff , A B : B a n f f Centre Press, 2003. P l o t k i n , F red . Opera 101. N e w Y o r k : H y p e r i o n , 1994. 256-280. R a b y , G y l l i a n . B e v e r l e y S imons : A Cr i t i c a l Eva lua t ion . D i s s . U o f Ca lga ry , 1982. Ratsoy, G i n n y , and James Hof fman , eds. P l a y i n g the Pac i f ic P rov ince : A n A n t h o l o g y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a P lays , 1967-2000. Toronto: P laywr ights Canada Press, 2001 . 73 R u b i n , D o n . " A S i m o n s ' Casebook." Canadian Theatre R e v i e w 9 (1976): 4-5. — , ed. " A Strange Enterprise: The D i l e m m a o f the P laywr igh t i n Canada ." Canad ian Theatre His to ry . Toronto: C o p p C la rk , 1996. Shoctor, Joseph. Letter to the author's agent. 22 D e c . 1994. S i d n e l l , M i c h a e l , and John Ju l ian i . " S i m o n s ' Shorter P lays : T w o V i e w s . " Canad ian Theatre R e v i e w 9 (19761: 18-20. S imons , Bever ley . Crabdance. Vancouver : Ta lonbooks , 1969. — . "Crusader ." Prepar ing. Vancouver : Ta lonbooks , 1975. — . " E p i l o g u e to ' P r o l o g u e ' . " Transi t ions I: Short P lays . Vancouver : C o m m c e p t Pub l i sh ing , 1978. 281-287. — . " G r e e n L a w n Rest H o m e . " Preparing. Vancouver : Ta lonbooks , 1975. —. now you see it.... Unpub l i shed play. — . "Prepar ing ." Preparing. Vancouver : Ta lonbooks , 1975. — . "Pro logue . " Prepar ing. Vancouver : Ta lonbooks , 1975. — . The Theft. U n p u b l i s h e d story. — . "Towards L e e l a . " Interview. Canadian Theatre R e v i e w 9 (1976): 21-27. — . "Tr i ang le . " Prepar ing. Vancouver : Ta lonbooks , 1975. Stratford Fes t iva l o f Canada. V i s i t o r ' s Gu ide . Ontar io: Stratford, 2005. Z i m m e r m a n , Cyn th i a . " M a i n t a i n i n g the Al te rna t ive . " Per forming N a t i o n a l Identities. E d . Sher r i l l Grace and Albe r t -Re ine r Glaap . Vancouve r : Ta lonbooks , 2003 . 211 -224. 74 

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